19. apr 2022


The collective labour agreements of the Icelandic Coast Guard's pilots' have been open since 31 December 2019, and negotiations have been slow and arduous. Throughout this period, we have made every effort to maintain a high level of service, despite understaffing and perceived unwillingness to negotiate on the part of the State.

As the Coast Guard pilots have police powers, they do not have the right to strike. Therefore, their labour agreements have historically been linked to CLAs of comparable professions, for the longest time through a statutory link, or until 2006.

The Ministry of Finance is now vigorously attacking this arrangement, with a clear demand for a new, original wage agreement without links to comparable professions. This will not only affect pilot benefits but will also greatly increase staff turnover among the Coast Guard's pilots.

Maintaining standards for All-Weather Search and Rescue is costly and the Coast Guard spends hundreds of millions of ISK on training for each pilot. Increased staff turnover is therefore quick to more than offset the disconnection of wages from comparable professions.

The Ministry of Finance also vigorously undermines aviation safety by demanding the abolition of the pilot's seniority list, which is one of the cornerstones of safety culture in aviation around the world. This arrangement has proved successful, as such lists ensure transparency, professionalism, and that pilots can report incidents without fear of punishment. The Ministry has presented no objective arguments to support its position, and in fact the pilots' negotiation committee has perceived a lack of professional knowledge and understanding of the unique position of the aviation industry in the negotiations.

The Ministry of Finance is attacking a profession that does not have the right to strike, so we are in an almost hopeless situation.

We are facing collective labour orders rather than a collective labour agreement.

Even more serious is the endangerment to the Coast Guard's flight safety with grave consequences for people who need their help. The Treasury can expect hundreds of millions in additional costs due to the greatly increased turnover of pilots and the associated loss of knowledge and experience.

We, the pilots of the Icelandic Coast Guard, hereby express great concern about the future operation of rescue aircraft for all Icelanders, both at sea and on land.

We demand fair and objective negotiations.


Pilots of the Icelandic Coast Guard

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17. dec 2021

December Newsletter

The FÍA newsletter for December is now out. Among articles are news of the winter service at Keflavík Airport, the new CLA with Eagle Air, and the state of play of the CLA negotiations for the Coast Guard pilots, who have been without a contract for two years now. Enjoy and have a happy holiday!

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25. oct 2021

Bluebird Nordic and Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise ignore collective labour agreements and court rulings

Recently, a ruling was handed down in the Icelandic Labour Court where Bluebird Nordic's lay-offs of all FÍA pilots were ruled illegal. It should be noted that just prior to the lay-offs, the company had hired a corresponding number of bogus self-employed pilots through an foreign employment agency.

FÍA challenges Bluebird and the Confederation of Icelandic Employers (SA) to abide by the current Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) and the ruling of the Labour Court.

The ruling states clearly that when a Collective Labour Agreement expires, its provisions apply until a new agreement is reached, and CLA negotiations were well under way when the lay-offs occurred.

According to provisions of the CLA, FÍA members have priority over 11 full-time positions, as Bluebird pilots. This provision was confirmed by the Labour Court.

Despite the ruling of the Labour Court and the current CLA, both SA and Bluebird Nordic seem to think that they don’t need to comply with the ruling in question and the wage CLA.

Rule of law is a fundamental component of Icelandic society, and we must insist that Icelandic companies respect both CLAs and court rulings. This attempt to undermine the rules of our labour market, is unacceptable.

It is a serious violation of the constitutionally protected rights of trade unions and the rights of Icelandic workers who work according to a collective labour agreement.

We call for the involvement of the relevant supervisory bodies, the relevant authorities, and the Minister, in this matter, to ensure that Bluebird Nordic and the Confederation of Icelandic Employers comply with Icelandic law and with court rulings.

FÍA calls for a broad consensus of the country's trade unions against the Confederation of Icelandic Employers' dangerous attack on the Icelandic labour market.


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21. sep 2021

Newsletter is out!

The FÍA newsletter is now out for September, as always both in English and Icelandic.
Please note that on page 2 you will find the Table of Contents with direct links to the articles in English - otherwise the English version starts on page 16!

Among subjects are:

  • Bluebird's lay-offs confirmed as illegal by Labour Court
  • Coast Guard Pilots still without contract - seniority lists at risk
  • EFÍA's Alternative Foreign Investments
  • Reykjavík Flight Safety Symposium - held this Friday!
  • Safety issues - article by Ingvar Tryggvason
  • New Cabin in Húsafell
  • Fatigue Reporting

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10. may 2021

Appeal Court confirms legitimacy of FÍA actions

The strike actions of the Icelandic Airline Pilots' Association (FÍA) against Bluebird Nordic, which began in February 2021, were ruled legitimate by the Landsréttur Appeal Court last Friday. Originally, Bluebird had requested a ban on the strike actions from the District Commissioner, and when this was denied they appealed to the District Court. When the Court confirmed the Commissioners ruling, the case was appealed to the Landsréttur, only to have it yet again confirmed that the strike actions were legal.

The ruling of the Appeal Court reaffirmed once again one of the main principles in Icelandic labor law that when a wage agreement expires or is terminated, the rights and obligations of the parties continue in accordance with an earlier agreement while there is still no agreement, and no strike has taken place. Therefore, the priority right provisions for FÍA members were still valid when Bluebird Nordic hired 10 pilots as bogus self-employed contractors in November and fired the corresponding number of FÍA pilots in the following month.

The Appeal Court also confirmed that a legal strike, announced by a trade union, binds all workers in the profession in question, as well as those outside the trade union. In other words, the pilots who flew for Bluebird during the strike were strike-breakers and the FIA's actions to defend the strike were perfectly legal.

Landsréttur also held that Bluebird Nordic had to bear the brunt of not disclosing the terms and conditions of employment of the pilots it to be "self-employed contractors". This once again provides clear evidence that Bluebird is carrying out pseudo-contracting that they are trying to keep out of the light of day.

As specified earlier, Landsréttur upheld the ruling of the district commissioner and later the district court and furthermore requires Bluebird Nordic also to pay FÍA ISK 440,000 in appeal costs.

It should also be noted that the main proceedings in the Labour Court case, concerning the legality of the FÍA pilots’ dismissals, took place in April and a ruling is expected shortly.

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