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Viewing cable 08REYKJAVIK123, ICELANDIC AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS END THEIR BRIEF ANNOUNCED

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08REYKJAVIK123 2008-06-27 16:04 2011-01-13 05:05 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Reykjavik
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRK #0123 1791646
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 271646Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3710
INFO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0147
RUEANHA/FAA NATIONAL HQ WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS REYKJAVIK 000123 
 
LONDON FOR FAA CHRISTOPHER BARKS 
STATE FOR EUR/NB 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EAIR IC
SUBJECT: ICELANDIC AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS END THEIR BRIEF ANNOUNCED 
STRIKE 
 
1. (U) In early June, Icelandic air traffic controllers demanded 
better pay, hours and working conditions and declared if their 
demands were not met, they would strike for four hours daily 
beginning June 27.  No agreement on these issues was reached and the 
controllers began the announced strike on June 27, grounding all but 
two international and domestic flights.  The controllers reached an 
agreement with airport authorities almost immediately and the strike 
ended after just two hours.  The agreement includes a 4.75 percent 
increase in pay with an additional increase of 3 percent to be added 
in February 2009.  Cumulatively, this will result in an 11 percent 
increase in wages for air traffic controllers.  Air traffic 
controller instructors are also to receive an increased fee of .5 
percent for each student taught.  To address working hours, the 
agreement calls for the hiring of more air traffic controllers. 
 
2. (U) The strike - timed during the height of tourist season - 
could have had grave consequences for Iceland's economy.  In 2006 
two million passengers came through the international airport and 
tourism is the third largest sector of the economy.  With just a 
single ferry connecting the east coast to northern Europe, Iceland 
is also reliant on air transport to stay connected with the rest of 
the world.  Ragnhildur Hjaltadottir, Permanent Secretary of the 
Ministry of Communication, confirmed the terms of the agreement to 
Pol Intern and also stressed that there was no official involvement 
of the government in the agreement. 
 
VAN VOORST