Iceland fish strike ‘called off’

THE Icelandic fishermen’s strike is over, according to reports reaching Grimsby today. The vessel owners and most fishermen have apparently come to an agreement on salaries and the strike has been called off.

The agreement will now go to a vote, which the negotiation team is hopeful will be accepted.

There are still disputes going on with fishermen in Grindavik and one other union which will be negotiated locally.

Most of the fleet will be returning to the fishing grounds today and in the coming days. Today’s dramatic development came following a fresh attempt over the weekend to find a solution to the strike, which began on Thursday night.

The country was already starting to run of fish and around 4,000 fish processing workers faced being laid off.

The two sides were called to a meeting by the state conciliation mediator following informal discussions yesterday to establish if there was any common ground.

Partial agreement of some of the issues such as pricing was reached before the strike began and it is thought that the gap between the two parties is not that wide.

One of the issues still to be resolved is manning levels on deck. The union says the employers’ proposals will compromise safety.

The strike threatened not only to hit Iceland’s economy but could have caused serious problems for the Humber’s fish processing industry which employs up to 6,000 people, most of them in Grimsby.

Knowing this was coming, some major processors in the town have made contingency plans and supplies from Norway, Scotland and Ireland will increase.

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