One major issue is the complicated fish pricing structure whereby the prices of fish sold at auction differ to those sold by vertically-integrated companies, which are able to set their own prices. This price difference is estimated to be up to 30 per cent.
The last agreement between the parties ended back in 2011 and no further agreement has been reached since.
An agreement was negotiated by fishermen and Fisheries Iceland, the organisation representing Icelandic fishing companies, in June 2016 but was soon rejected. Since then the parties have tried to negotiate on different terms, but without a result.
As a consequence, the unions have called the strike.
Fisheries Iceland considers the strike action as a disappointment.
“It is the responsibility of all parties to make every effort to agree on a collective agreement before the strike begins,” said Heidrun Lind Marteinsdottir, CEO of Fisheries Iceland.
“It is now particularly important that representatives from both the unions and the industry use their best efforts and yet again try to reach an agreement. If negotiations result in an agreement before the 10 November, the strike will be called off. A strike should be seen as a last resort, as it would not only cause damage to all parties involved, but also to the Icelandic economy.”