Herring and Class Struggle

Capitalism came late to Iceland. At the end of the 19th century this large, wind-swept, thinly populated island was made up of small towns, farms and seasonal fishing stations. Then European capitalists saw another Klondike in the herring-rich waters of the north Atlantic..

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Áfram Sjómenn - The indefinite trawler fisheries Strike in Iceland is on

Iceland's trawler fishers and marine engineers began an all-out strike tonight at 11 pm after talks broke down a little after 9 pm this evening without a new deal between the fishing unions and employers.

In this video tonight Valmundur Valmundsson of Iceland Seamen's Union, Sjómannasamband Íslands announces that the strike is going ahead. He thanks everyone for their support and says they must stick together in this fight.

Sjómannasamband Íslands (SSÍ) and Marine Engineers in VM Félag vélstjóra og málmtæknimanna rejected the deal proposed by the Association of Fisheries Companies in August this year. This deal meant trawler workers could get wage cuts of up to 15 percent as the ship owners offloaded new taxes and fuel charges onto the fishers and engineers.

An agreement has been reached on the prices to be paid for fish but not on the numbers of crew on each vessel. The Union says there are already too few crew and any fewer would be dangerous.

Last month, fishers in the Iceland Seaman's Union voted by 90 percent to strike indefinitely, if the employers didn't come up with a better deal.

When the ballot ended, 339 members of VM, the Icelandic Union of Marine Engineers and Metal Technicians had voted, a 71.8 percent turn out. Some 90.8 percent voted to strike with only 26 members voting against.

Fishers in the Iceland Seaman's Union, SSÍ voted by almost 90 percent to strike on a 56 percent turn out.

Áfram Sjómenn

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