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Icelandair fires all flight attendants after collective bargaining fails. Pilots now resposible for onboard safety

After prolonged negotiations Icelandair and Flugfreyjufélag Íslands (FFI) – the union that represents the cabin crew of the airline – have failed to reach an agreement on remuneration. The airline has therefore opted to fire all flight attendants currently working for the company and to seek a new representative to deal with. ( More...

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Ric Wernicke 54
"This is your captain speaking. Don't make me come back there!"
paul trubits 25
Or I will turn the plane around right now!
John D 4
Kind of like this a week or so ago
jeff slack 2
.........and I will make you sit on a chair until your Father gets home........(oh good a chair, that has to be bigger than this airline seat)
Robert Cowling -3
Watch out for 'The Hand'! Whoever it grabs is instantly guilty!

[This poster has been suspended.]

K R 2
They pilots are only being asked to ensure on-board safety (which they were ultimately responsible for anyway). All they are being asked to do is switch on the passenger pre-flight safety demo on the PAX screens and do eyeball check (walk up and down the rows once) of PAX compliance instead of the FA doing these activities. Not much extra work really. If there are any medical emergencies then probably more PAX than FA can do the necessary CPR, call for a doctor on the PA etc.
ffrcobra1 27
I don’t believe cabin crew are “optional equipment”.
Northwest was almost there. They had a really poisoned relationship with their employees.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Andrei Neptune 10
Yeah! Those nasty nursing staff...wanting to not be treated like cattle by having collective bargaining transfer some of the power away from the Employer and to the employee.

Serves them right?
che mex 4
...thats it...the right to be poor except for a few....the american dream

[This comment was deleted.]

djames225 1
EXCUSE ME??? That was a demeaning & arrogant remark!!
djames225 2
And I get downvoted for a previous commenter's now deleted

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Such an American thing to say. Even in the third world, we treat everyone to the best of our ability. Because healthcare is a right.
But you let your oligarchy tell you that life must be earned while they fly in private jets.
djames225 5
What IS pathetic was your previous comment, nothing at all mentioned about healthcare!! I noticed your previous "comment" has since been deleted.
Let me surmise it for others. You stated that "nearly all nations in the America(s) are dumps near and south of the equator"
With that attitude, glad I am NOT in need of YOUR healthcare!
cyberjet 4
You are a truly bitter and twisted individual who's in desperate need of psychological help.
che mex -3 must be Trump, in disguise....another genius
21voyageur 2
Inappropriate and self-centered comment. Save your dribble for social media.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

che mex 5
Record10....not worthy of a reply...
djames225 2
Sorry che..I had to reply.
djames225 2
Who The H said they had to be in a Union?? To strike and ask for more money, better job security OR just plain security in general, does NOT mean you have to belong to a Union. They can be a union onto themselves!
AWAAlum -1
Workers have the right, under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), to refuse to join a union. However, some collective bargaining agreements -- the contracts between the employer and the union -- require a company to employ only union workers to do certain jobs.
cyberjet 2
Your selfish greed is duly noted. Not worthy of a response, but duly noted.
AWAAlum 1
Having skimmed over your posts for a few years, I'm convinced you have cabinets jam packed with glasses half empty.
Richard Orgill 10
Long, or short term, I don't think now is the time to bargain anything given the world's stock prices. Like anything, including us, many started off at rock bottom prices and moved our way up.

Sadly, nowadays I get kids in my office with 350 hours wanting a starting salary of $100,000. During the health crisis, we have managed to stay in business while I have seen our competitor's birds sitting on the tarmac. We did that by getting our crews together taking a temp pay cut and putting our business first.

Don't know about many of you but when times are lean I don't mind taking a deep breath and when times were great (pre-COVID) putting a few bucks in the bank just in case. We all saw extreme lean times in 2008-2013.
jptq63 4
Understand and generally agree, unfortunately though I know a few CFI(i)s who are $150k - $175k in debt. Kinda of tough to work a job when being unemployed actually results in a bigger payday.... Not just in the flying industry, but many places in the tech field are seeking Master (and some cases PhD) degrees to just to get entry level employment, and the industry expects you to keep up covering your only education or in 3 - 5 years you are obsolete; sort of a Moore's law of tech education. Know this can go many different ways.... Pays to save your money.
I think the point is being missed that it won’t be the operating flight crews in the cabin, it will be pilots on their “days off”. This until they can train “replacement” workers. Won’t take long, they will only be “safety trained”. I was an Ozark pilot that came on board with TWA in 1986 when Icahn was trying to bust the flight attendants union. If memory serves, they were training replacements in 3 days. Trained to make announcements, evacuate and first aid. They would just sit in their jump seats the entire flight. Chime in if you remember otherwise.
several years back, american airlines flight attendants went on strike,and since aa didnt want to cease operations or cut back,they recruited every available person they could find who already had training,such as flight supervisors (and a few people willing to cross a picket line)to cover as flight attnedants..they did a "quickie" basic training of safety procedures,skipping the extras like cabin service and grooming,and used agents and secretaries and others who might be willing..they did manage to operate with those people as flight attendants for a while (it was a short strike)and the union came to a fast agreement because of that...firing all of the flight attendants and using cockpit crew is really extreme!
The FAA would not allow them into the USA as Flight Attendants by law have to be’s an FAR.
James Cross 4
From my understanding the pilots will be working as FAs. So if it's normally a crew of 2 pilots and 6 FAs, you'd have 2 pilots and 6 pilots in the role of FA.

Very strange news, I wonder if the pilots doing the FA job still get their full pay rate.
Torsten Hoff 5
How could they possibly operate without a cabin crew?
Jesse Carroll 4
Sit down, read the card and heres your peanuts!
Everyone is wondering the same
Frank Zilka 4
Friday‘s decision to fire all cabin crew has been withdrawn, you can still get peanuts and Icelandic schnapps
Seems a very odd time to be going on strike in the airline industry, lucky to have any employment, maybe wait for clearer skies ahead.
lynx318 1
Good point!
Tommy Boy 1
It must have been a horrible offer to get 73% to vote it down in this airline business climate. You can bet there were a ot of untenable clauses that would make anyone rather not work.
djames225 3
Well that was short more firing..for now..guess we have to wait till July 28 to see if this 1 falls apart.
Icelandair and flight attendants have struck a deal
canuck44 3
Iceland doesn't have an extensive domestic route network. No flight attendants will cut off al international flights.
Boy, I’ll never fly this airline under these conditions. How safe can it be having a pilot trying to safely fly the plane and also worry about the passengers in the back?
Pretty much my thinking.
dee9bee 2
In reading a couple other articles, There is very little flying going on anyway. Management is ticked off at the F/As and there are a lot of Pilots standing around doing nothing. The Pilots will be trained on safety procedures, much of which they already know. They will be in the cabin, of course, though I love your ideas of "Don't make me turn this plane around!".

In the USA, there was a F/A strike at "a major airline" in 1993. The FAA approved a program to train new Flight Attendants in ten days. That never occurred, though. This idea wouldn't 'fly' in the US but Iceland? We'll see.
bentwing60 3

"The minimum number of cabin crew members required for each aircraft type in an operator's fleet must be approved by the State of the Operator." It's up to their national regs.
Torsten Hoff 4
But that number isn’t going to be zero. Who is going to manage the cabin in the event of an emergency or evacuation?
bentwing60 0
Don't ask the question, Torsten, do the homework. Iceland's CAB, or whatever ,regs, cabin crew requirements is in there.
Brent Lee 2
Good for them. The company knows what it can do with the revenue generated. If employees aren’t satisfied with that, find another job. The company made the choice for them.
I wouldn't be surprised if they speedily high some low wage crew members to avoid this problem.
Robert Cowling -8
People who can't speak the language. Yippee...
21voyageur 2
Most Icelanders are very conversant in English. I have been there and never had a problem. How many languages do you speak RC . . . .
Good for them. We need more companies like that. While I believe in collective bargaining to many unions drive a company into non profitability. Remember Eastern Airlines.
ORDUnited 1
Frank Lorenzo drove Eastern Airlines into bankruptcy and out of business.....NOT THE UNIONS!!!! Do your homework and see what other companies went out of business under Frank Lorenzo!!! Unions DO NOT drive businesses into non-profitability......look at United Airlines....all employee groups had the best contracts that they have ever had in the last few years, and United was making record profits until Covid-19 hit.

So, unions help companies to profitability.....they do not drive them to non-profitability!!! Unions are needed to protect employees from the abuses that many companies would like to drive at employees.
Usual Suspect 2
Spoken like a true shop steward...
Bob Hearst 2
They don't understand that $$$ doesn't grow on trees yet.


My union stew friend makes $90k +. and is terrified of layoffs.
No real marketable skills other than 'coffee,tea or **,
Burger flipping is a dream job now.
Secured jobs prevent people from improving job skills and can create financial irresponsibilty as there's always another paycheck next week.

Thrift and self responsibility go out the window when times are good.

Take your best shot,I welcome minds greater than my own!
21voyageur 2
I am therefore expecting a tsunami of replies to your challenge!
K R 1
Yes, but the reality? FA's are unionized and have large lobbying budgets with which to corrupt government officials. So, its not about the job they do, its about the lobbying they do. It took Reagan to get ATC's sorted out and based on some sort of pay for actual work. Where is the Reagan now for FA's?
Tommy Boy 1
How much money were they offered?
J.J. Lasne 1
K R 1
Yes, sign of the times. For my recent post-lock-down flights(SAA and AC)the FA's basically did nothing anyway (in theory to limit contact). Water was provided on boarding and through water bottles in the (unsupervised) galleys. They came out once midflight to hand out a cold wrapped sandwich (which could have been given to use on boarding like the water). Otherwise they just waited around in case of an emergency. Not that they could/would do much about handling that - a good % of PAX can do as much as they can do in an in-flight PAX or aircraft emergency. When you take the "attendant" part away from "flight attendant" duties there is sadly not much left. Is The "new normal" = "no customer service on-board" - flight attendants like bus attendants beforte them (for anyone old enough to remember) are in a dead profession? I hope not. For me the customer service I have experienced is with the FA's of the airline often outstrip the customer service provided by the same airlines ground staff, pilots etc.
SkyAware123 1
I could see this become the new norm. Just like a bus ride. Hand out a drink or snack at the gate. For short flights, why the hell not?
What a mess!
Sorry. I didn't check-duplicate squawk!
joe milazzo 1
LOL...... I can imagine that memo.....
“Dear pilot group. To avoid furloughs you will now be required to work the cabin.
All monthly lines will include pilot lines and FA lines. If you’ can’t hold a pilot line you must bid an FA line. If you’re rewarded an FA line you will be paid as an FA. Anyone failing to hold either will be paid minimum monthly guarantee at the FA rate.”
djames225 1
And the cabin crew sack is off the table..for now.
Link is in the other squawk
Lee Watermann 1
Don't make me pull over.
Lee Watermann 1
Richard Klima 1
The employees in this socialist country pushed too far. As noted, they were already paid more than flight attendants in comparable markets. The airline had no choice, considering their financial condition. A lesson should be learned from this.
21voyageur 4
Actually and as a reminder, socialism is an economic model and not a political one. At least Icelanders, who do live in a democracy BTW, can count on universal healthcare and reasonable social assistance when times are hard. I am quite sure that several noted democracies, even "powerful"(?) countries cannot claim the same YET are, as alluded to by "che mex", having the exact same struggles in the airline industry. Personally, I and my family like the idea of having a net to land in when essential.
che mex 2
I agree with you....not too far away, In Canada....we also have public universal healthcare (since 1970) and its coast to coast, accessible tuition for college and university studies, social assistance, etc....etc....
K R 1
I had occasion to need Iceland health care on a flight from Canada to UK (plane diverted - thanks BA, and free services provided - yay Iceland). Since they have a very small and single ethnic population they were/are able to achieve standards of health care that Canadians can only dream off (in their wildest dreams). I put Canadian health care at about 70% of the level of Iceland's and the US's and 60% of South Africa's top tier(a socialist country too but with a two tier system like the US). Iceland socialism is still performance based (based on principles of meritocracy using capitalist metrics). With the current job description of FA's in the "new normal" they are overpaid - they are doing less work for the same money. This type of "subsidization" of one group by other groups does not fit for IcelandAIR or Icelands voters - as Dan said above: an economic model. BUT based on raising the per-capita GDP, not lowering like Canada.
che mex -1
....minimal wages , no social security benefits and shutting up guarantees jobs.....just like it does in the so-called dream land aka the USA
Michael Cole -1
When I walked the Camino de Santiago three years ago, during the almost 500 mile home across Spain I spent each night in albergues (hostels). Many of the albergues had group dinners, where you would sit down with people from all over the world. Invariably, the most obnoxious, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, know-it-alls were the Canadians. Thanks for proving what I thought then still hold true now.
che mex 1
when compared to people like you, being more knowledgable is easy...
Michael Cole 0
It is if one is a Canadian.
djames225 1
I have travelled a bit around the world..I must say that the show was on the other foot. That " the most obnoxious, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, know-it-alls were folk from the US." BUT at least, with thinking and knowing, I know not all are that way. Yourself excluded!
djames225 1
shoe not show
che mex 0
and clearly, you dont understand Spanish....
AWAAlum -1
What's that got to do with this thread?
srobak 1
Nope. Pilots should strike.
lynx318 1
Pilots preparing the airline food....Oh this can't be good.
AWAAlum 1
It will be interesting when planes are landing with pax not belted in and wandering the aisles. They're swapping one disaster for yet another.
"What did the cabin crews do before you hired them ? "
most were flipping burgers, our only requirement nobody making more than 5 bucks and hour!
Unions have OUTLIVED their USEFULNESS! As a Company & Corporate Owner we have seen Unions go from Worker Support to nothing more than FUND RASING WINGS for the Liberal/Leftists of the World!
How can they do this ....emergency evacuation would kill all passengers.
RECOR10 -6
Could be. So could a bird strike, errant asteroid, rouge missile, nutty Arab....oh, the list can go on and on.
They would be knowingly placing passengers in danger.....Bird strike is a act of God.
Well, I'm not really a fan of the LCC/VLCC model anyway, but this pretty well ices that cake. Not flying any airline without crew to make sure my fellow passengers act human. Never you mind that I do rather like a meal and a beverage or two on a long flight. Sure, beverage service is optional. But cabin crew do a lot more than just that. No human I've ever met could begin to manage a hundred people or more and still actually handle a complicated safety task like flying an aircraft. Nope. Not touching a mainline aircraft with a two person crew. Crimminy, I hope they don't kill anyone while they go out of business.
John Manley -1
LOL ... FAA bout to ban Icelandair xD
FAA can't even take of Boeing :) To my Knowledge the FAA is not a worldwide body.
djames225 4
I believe he met ban them from flying into the US.
Marc Pagan -5
A step in the right direction.

Now, if would could destroy public sector unions, especially teacher unions,
the world would be a better place.
cypryfyx 3
You and I have very different ideas of “better.”
They fail to remember that if you repeatedly get rid of those at the bottom of the totem pole, they will eventually become the bottom of the totem pole.

But no, we need to start up for the disadvantaged millionaires and CEOs to protect them from the ills of the world
AWAAlum 1
It's what makes the world go 'round.
Tommy Boy 1
Labor Unions have made the World a better place. Labor Unions brought us weekends, 8 hour work days, overtime pay, healthcare coverage, pensions, child labor laws, equal pay for equal work, anti-discrimination laws, and job security. Even non-union workers get wage increases to stay competitive with union workers.

What have non-union employees ever done for anyone?
cyberjet -2
Employers get the unions they deserve, and people who crap on a profession that they've never worked in are truly the lowest of the low.
Dean Kassim -3
Excellent Action taken. A step in the right direction. Today, we don’t need Unions. Complains could be taken to other to other areas without paying the Unions. I hope other Airlines follow suite.
Blake Van -2
As pilots we need to stand with our Crew-Members, passengers. Aircraft safety Our Command, Leadership Authority don't end at the Cockpit door. We are next yes,with UAS Droin Airline auto controlled, but not yet...
They have since reached an agreement with flight attendants. According to same source
Jesse Carroll 0
Defund Police and Airline attendants!
Pilots need the overtime anyway!
serge LOTH 0
OH fine!!! afterwards , fire the Cockpit crew… AND the passengers… and the aircrafts… SUPER!!
What about the board????????
linbb -4
You ever check the posts before commenting.
John Cotton 1
Not sure what you mean. Is there a problem with the post?
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Icelandair sacks all cabin crew, shifts their duties to pilots

Icelandair says it will sack all cabin crew and replace them with off–duty pilots after negotiations on a collective-bargaining agreement broke down.

It followed months of talks between the airline and the Icelandic Cabin Crew Association (Flugfreyjufelag Islands/FFI).
John Cotton -3
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Pilots To Fill In For Fired Icelandair Flight Attendants

Icelandair fired all its flight attendants Friday and told pilots they’ll be doing those jobs temporarily starting Monday.


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