Iceland Merchant Seamen Strike Ends

Monday, May 08, 2000
Iceland's merchant seamen on Sunday called off a strike that had idled shipping for a week. The agreement means that the nine ships currently idle in Icelandic ports can now resume operations. The seamen's strike, which began May 1, was the most bitter of a series of industrial disputes that have hit Iceland in recent weeks.

The seamen had been striking in pursuit of higher wages and restrictions on the use of cheap foreign labor.

Jonas Gardarsson, chairman of the Reykjavik Sailors Union, said the seamen had reached their goals at the government-mediated talks with shipping employers. The new contract, valid until the end of 2003, gives the seamen a 29 percent rise in wages, with improved insurance, holidays, food and clothing, he said.

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