Unions Refer Wage Negotiations to State Mediator

sgs trade union iceland

Wage negotiations between the Federation of General and Special Workers in Iceland (SGS) and the Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise (SA) will continue under mediation, Vísir reports. SGS referred the negotiations to the state mediator last week, after 110 direct negotiation meetings with SA. In a statement issued by SGS, the union asserted that direct negotiations between the two parties were unlikely to be successful.

The Commercial Federation of Iceland (LÍV) also referred contract negotiations to the State Mediator last week and will be meeting with SA later today. Iceland Review has previously reported on the breakdown of negotiations between SA and Efling Union, which is now preparing for strike action.

WOW air Fulfills Conditions for Purchase

WOW air

WOW air has now fulfilled all conditions required for its purchase by Indigo Partners. Fréttablaðið reports that the two parties are now working to finalise the acquisition. The deadline for closing the deal, given to WOW air by its shareholders, is tomorrow: February 28.

In preparation for the deal, WOW air has downsized its operations significantly, cutting their fleet down from 20 jets to 11 and dropping several destinations from their itinerary. The airline expects to transport 2.1 million passengers this year, a marked drop from the 3.5 million it transported last year.

Among the biggest obstacles to concluding the purchase was a 12-year rental agreement WOW air had made with Irish aircraft rental company Avolon for four new Airbus A330 jets. Made in 2017, the agreement was meant to provide the airline with two jets at the end of last year and two more at the end of 2019. WOW was required to pay a hefty pentalty for backing out of the contract.

Indigo Partners will initially acquire 49% of WOW air, though according to the terms of the agreement, the investor could acquire a larger stake in future.

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon Closed Again

Fjaðrárgljúfur walking path

Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, a popular tourist site in South Iceland, has been closed to visitors. A notice on the Environmental Agency of Iceland’s website states the area has been damaged greatly by pedestrian traffic, combined with thawing weather conditions. The closure took effect this morning and will stand for a period of two weeks, at which time the Environment Agency will re-evaluate the condition of the area.

This is the second time this year the canyon is closed to visitors due to environmental damage caused by increased visitors. Fjaðrárgljúfur was also closed last spring for the same reason.

The number of tourists visiting the canyon nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017, in part due to Justin Bieber’s music video for I’ll Show You, filmed at the location. The video, released in late 2015, has over 400 million views on YouTube.

“Please help us to protect the nature and respect closing in nature conservation areas,” the Environment Agency’s notice states.

Fjaðrárgljúfri lokað – Fjaðrárgljúfur closedUmhverfisstofnun mun loka Fjaðrárgljúfri í Skaftárhreppi fyrir umferð…

Posted by Umhverfisstofnun on Tuesday, February 26, 2019