From Iceland — Six-Day Strike Could Close All Restaurants

Six-Day Strike Could Close All Restaurants

Published June 9, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Ragnar Egilsson

A strike set to begin this Wednesday and extend for six days could shut down every restaurant in the country.

RÚV reports that there are three unions currently in negotiations with management: the food service and restaurant workers union Matvís, the electrical workers union Rafiðnaðarsambands Íslands (RSÍ), and The Icelandic Union of Marine Engineers and Metal Technicians (VM). Talks have reportedly been slow going, and the clock is running down.

If no agreement is reached before midnight June 10, a six-day strike will commence, last until midnight June 16.

Amongst the workers who would take part in this strike are bakers, butchers, chefs, cooks and servers. As replacing striking workers is against Icelandic law – only upper management is permitted to do the jobs of striking workers – the temporary strike will likely lead to restaurants around the country closing for the duration.

Níels S. Olgeirsson, the director of Matvís, told reporters that while workers were “not exactly filled with optimism, they still hold out hope that a strike can be avoided.”

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