State Arbiter Seeks to Settle Airport Labour Dispute Skip to content
Keflavík Airport
Photo: Golli. Keflavík Airport.

State Arbiter Seeks to Settle Airport Labour Dispute

The State Conciliation and Mediation Officer has called for a meeting at noon today, RÚV reports, in the hopes of working out a deal between the union of public servants Sameyki, the union of aviation workers, and management.

Negotiating since 2023

As reported, these workers have been trying to negotiate a new contract since 2023, to no avail.

Things came to a head last month, as the unions involved felt no headway was being made in their negotiations with SA (the Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise), who were operating on behalf of Isavia, the company which conducts operations for Keflavík International Airport. This led to the overwhelming majority of union members–80%–voting in favour of a series of work stoppages.

Government intervention

The purpose of the State Conciliation and Mediation Officer, who represents the government, is to intervene and serve as a third party between labour and management in the hopes of drawing up a labour deal that both sides can live with, even if just temporarily.

Strikes and work stoppages at airports are a particularly sensitive matter, given how much revenue is generated through tourism. The intended work stoppages would occur from 4:00AM to 8:00AM on the 10th, 16th, 17th and 20th of May, and would bring departures to a halt. That being the case, time is of the essence as these three parties meet to work out a deal.

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