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.