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.


Read more
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

Read more
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.

Read more
06. mar 2021

FÍA wins District Court Ruling

Strikes ruled legal

  • The Icelandic District Court has confirmed the decision of the District Commissioner of the Capital area that FÍA‘s strike actions were legal, and that they would not be subject to an injunction.
  • The Court also confirms there is doubt as to the legitimacy of the layoffs of the FÍA pilots.
  • The ruling gives indications that contract pilots are in fact wage earners.
  • FÍA‘s CLA with Bluebird is still valid according to the Court

A ruling was issued on Friday, 5. March 2021, in the District Courts regarding the case that Bluebird Nordic filed against Icelandic Airline Pilots‘ Association (FIA), where Bluebird requested an injunction on the strike actions of the FÍA pilots that are working according to a collective labour agreement (CLA). The District Commissioner had earlier refused such an injunction request, but Bluebird appealed that decision to the District Courts.

However, the District Court confirmed the decision of the District Commissioner in regard to the legality of the strike actions, stating that nothing implied that the strike hadn‘t been executed according to law. This means that FÍA is in full right when they stand guard on the legally noticed strike, making sure that the work of those on strike isn‘t performed by others.

Court doubts legitimacy of layoffs

The results of the District Court further supports FÍA‘s arguments in its fight against illegal social dumping and bogus self-employment of Bluebird contractors. FÍA filed a case in the Icelandic Labour Court last week regarding the illegal layoffs of CLA contracted Bluebird pilots.

It is clear, from the ruling, that the court believes there is doubt about the legitimacy of the layoffs of the FÍA pilots. It is mentioned by the Court that during the CLA negotiations between Bluebird and FÍA, Bluebird had hired 10 pilots as contractors, and a few weeks later laid off ten directly employed FÍA union pilots: “In view of article 01-3 of the former CLA, which is still in effect, and where it states that the recruitment or leasing of pilots to the claimant should not in any way delay the promotions and other career developments of permanent employees, who are union members of the defendant, and should not lead to them being dismissed, the court finds there is doubt as to the legitimacy of the aforementioned resignations.“ It is FÍA‘s belief that Bluebird has hired in bogus self-employment contractors in order to lay off pilots who are union members and work according to a CLA.

The court also gives indications to the fact that the pilots hired in as contractors are actually wage earners, i.e. bogus self-employment contractors, but they could not say for certain as Bluebird did not put forth any evidence supporting that they were in fact contractors.

The Court stated that Bluebird had neither proved nor put forth a good argument that FÍA‘s labour actions have violated its legal rights. Also, the court ruled that Bluebird is to pay for the cost of the case, evaluated at ISK 620.000.

Read more