Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, passed a law last night putting an end to the overtime ban of air traffic controllers, RÚV reports. The law was passed with 32 votes agains 13. According to the measure, negotiators in the salary dispute have until June 24 to strike a deal. If they don’t manage to do so, a three-person arbitration court will determine the wages of air traffic controllers. The dispute between the air traffic controllers and Isavia, the company that operates Keflavík International Airport, has been ongoing for months.
The reason for the law being passed is threefold, according to comments accompanying the bill. First, the overtime ban, which has been in effect since April 6, makes it impossible for the state to do its lawful duty of ensuring safe air traffic service. Secondly, the interest of a whole industry, that is, the travel industry, is at stake. Thirdly, it’s essential not to put the country’s financial stability at risk.
Air traffic controllers convened last night to review the situation. They mood was far from good when they showed up at the meeting.