From Iceland — Collective Bargaining Agreement "Degrading"

Collective Bargaining Agreement “Degrading”

Published December 30, 2013

A union leader says that the new collective bargaining agreement is “degrading” for low-wage earners, adding that management is “laughing at” working people.
DV reports that Arnar Hjaltalín, the chairperson of the union Drífandi, has been highly critical of the contract, which was signed between representatives of labour and management earlier this month.
“Working class people and low-wage earning caregivers just get nothing out of this,” he said. “At the same time, the million-krónur man gets a 28,000 ISK pay rise.”
As Vísir reported, by the new agreement, a person making 246,000 ISK per month will see 8,000 ISK more per month, before taxes, and no rebates on their taxes. At the same time, another person making 1 million ISK per month will get an extra 28,000 ISK per month, plus 3,500 ISK taken off their monthly taxes.
“Management has started laughing at this contract,” he added. “They are simply making fun of us.” Arnar also pointed out that many of his people work for fishing companies that have reported record profits.
Arnar closed by saying that many workers he knows are of the opinion that the agreement is “degrading to accept. People would rather get nothing at all than this belittlement.”
As reported, the new agreement calls for a 5% wage increase for those making the lowest wages, and a 2.8% increase for everyone else. Union proposals for higher wages than this, as well as tax relief for minimum wage earners, was rejected by management.
Many labour unions are unsatisfied with the agreement and have vowed not to sign it in its current form. The agreement will be formally presented to the nation’s unions after the New Year.

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