From Iceland — Bus Drivers Told They Will Be Fired For Complaining

Bus Drivers Told They Will Be Fired For Complaining

Published September 28, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Hörður Sveinsson

In a letter from Strætó management, bus drivers are told that complaining about a new on-board video camera policy will lead to termination.

“Employees have the right to file a grievance [over the policy], but if they use it, it can lead to termination of employment,” reads part of a letter from Strætó management to bus drivers over a new policy to install active surveillance cameras on all Strætó buses, Reykjavík Vikublað reports.

The company hopes to install the cameras on all their buses. Currently, only 30 buses in the fleet have them. Reynir Jónsson, the managing director of Strætó, told reporters that the policy will not work if some bus drivers are allowed to be exempt from it. This policy was underlined in a second letter to employees, which was essentially a re-wording of the first.

Strætó employees who spoke with Reykjavík Vikublað told reporters that their work environment is bad, and that their union deals with many complaints. Drivers are placed under a great deal of pressure, and their supervisors are reportedly out of touch with their own workers.

Reynir dismissed these grievances, telling reporters that the complaints were natural.

“There will always be one or two or three employees who say, ‘I cannot imagine myself working on camera’,” he said. “This is why we say that [complaining about the policy] will lead to termination because it is not certain that we could find other work for these employees. We cannot promise that.”

Strætó is jointly managed by representatives of several capital area municipalities. Bryndís Haraldsdóttir, the director of the board, told reporters that “I have not seen this letter [from management] but I have heard about the dissatisfaction that is [at this workplace].”

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