Air traffic controllers in Iceland are unhappy with the terms of their new employment agreement and will resign in January if their demands are not met. Airlines worry about the effect on tourism.
The Association of Icelandic Air Traffic Controllers, new public corporation Flugstodir ohf. and the Civil Aviation Administration have been trying to reach an agreement about the wages of air traffic controllers in Iceland since September. Fréttabladid reports.
As of January next year, air traffic controllers in Iceland are scheduled to change employers and work for Flugstodir, but the corporation and the Association of Air Traffic Controllers have not yet reached an agreement on wages.
Yesterday, air traffic controllers introduced new demands regarding salary and pension fund rights, which Flugstodir is not prepared to indulge.
A representative from Flugstodir said it is not acceptable that air traffic controllers make new demands “at the last minute” of negotiations about an increase in salary of up to 35 percent.
The head of the Association of Air Traffic Controllers, Loftur Jóhannsson, told Fréttabladid that the demands had not included such a high increase in salary. He said it is natural to make new demands with a new employer.
If the air traffic controllers’ terms are not met, about 60 air traffic controllers plan to resign in January. Jóhannsson said that would greatly affect all flights to and from Iceland, some of which might have to be cancelled altogether.
Jón Karl Ólafsson, CEO of Icelandair Group, told Fréttabladid that it is of vital importance for the tourist industry in Iceland that Flugstodir and the air traffic controllers reach an agreement.
The Managing Director of Iceland Express, Matthías Imsland, predicted “catastrophic” effects on tourism in Iceland if the 60 air traffic controllers quit their jobs in January.