— Eldsmiðjan fired worker for demanding union representative and overtime paid
Fróði Frímann Kristjánsson was discharged from his job at the pizzeria Eldsmiðjan after demanding a union representative to be voted by the pizzeria’s staff, and demanding pay for overtime hours he says he worked in 2012. This latest case of the employer striking down on workers for demanding their supposedly established rights was reported by DV on Wednesday.
The owner of Eldsmiðjan is FoodCo, which also owns Aktu taktu, a drive-in fast food restaurant from which Emma Jóhanna Pálínudóttir was discharged last week, merely a few days after she made a complaint about sexual harassment at work. This was also reported by DV, on Tuesday.
Herwig Syen, Aktu Taktu’s human resource manager, has since denied that the resignation had anything to do with Jóhanna’s complaint, and claims that Emma Jóhanna’s alleged harasser has also been discharged. Asked for what reasons she had been dismissed, then, the manager said that he could not disclose information about individual employees’ cases.
As of early Thursday afternoon, Eldsmiðjan’s or FoodCo’s representatives had not responded to Fróði Frímann’s allegations.
Call for boycott
FoodCo also owns the restaurants American Style, Greifinn in Akureyri, Pítan and Saffran.
Fróði Frímann encourages people to boycott these restaurants: “Boycotting compaines that treat their staff in a loathsome, immoral manner does have positive effects. Such hideousness as Emma Jóhanna describes should not be tolerated without response. Until now, I have not asked anyone to steer their business away from this company, but now I see that one has to say something. Something has to be done. The leverage against companies like FoodCo lies in the wallet.” Fróði then quotes Helen Keller: “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
Labour discrimination in the restaurant business
In December, the Grapevine reported the story of a trans woman who described how, after coming out as transgendered, discrimination stands in the way of her earning a living.
“For example I applied for a job at KFC recently,” Jóhanna Erna Guðrúnardóttir said. “They were looking for staff so I applied. I sent them my CV and everything pointed to me getting the job. Then they asked for a photograph, which I sent. Then they wrote me back to say that I had sent the wrong picture. When I replied to say no, that it was the right picture, I got a reply saying they no longer needed any new staff members.”