Government Fires Cleaning Staff To Save Money - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Government Fires Cleaning Staff To Save Money

Published November 4, 2014

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In an effort to save revenue, the Government Offices of Iceland fired 18 cleaning workers, all of them low wage-earning women.

Labour union Efling announced that 18 workers were fired in all. Most of these workers are over the age of 50, and all of them are women earning amongst the lowest legal wages in the country.

How much the Government Offices will save by firing these workers is unknown, but Efling contends that these women are “at an age when it will be difficult for them to find comparable work for the same salary”.

While the trade union did not say what courses of action, if any, it would seek to engage, they did criticise the government for the cuts.

“Over the past few years, we have seen cutbacks made to Efling members who work for the government,” the announcement reads in part. “This particular group were 700 strong in 2008, and are 400 today. The terminations are Landspítali were the heaviest. Government offices believe they can save a lot of money by contracting out the work that Efling members do, as cleaning companies are constantly competing to underbid each other, which ultimately leads to lower wages and an increased workload for our members.”

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