From Iceland — More Large Unions Joining Strike

More Large Unions Joining Strike

Published April 27, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Maria Alva Roff

About 56,000 additional workers may strike next month, as management continues to resist worker demands for better pay and better conditions. A general strike comprising about 10,000 workers is already set to start at the end of May.

Vísir reports that the so-called “Flóabandalagið” (“The Bay Alliace”), a labour union umbrella consisting of the unions Efling, Hlíf and the Labour and Seamen’s Association of Keflavík, has ended talks with Business Iceland (SA), who represent management. Sigurður Bessason, the chairperson of Efling, described talks with management as “tied in knots”, forcing workers to have no choice but to take “harsher measures” in May.

Flóabandalagið is comprised of about 21,000 workers, making up a sizeable portion of the workforce. So do the labour unions VR and the Commercial Federation of Iceland (LÍV) who, Vísir reports, also broke talks with management and are planning to strike at the end of May. If they do, some 35,000 additional workers will walk.

Both announcements were made today.

Worker demands in all cases concerned wage increases, but VR and LÍV also emphasised the need for new terms regarding job-related education. The news comes on the heels of recent news that workers in the Federation of General and Special Workers in Iceland (SGS) voted overwhelmingly in favour of work stoppages culminating in a general strike on May 26.

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