In response to continued dissatisfaction with their collective bargaining terms, most capital area police have called in sick from work today.
RÚV reports that the Ministry of Finance was informed ahead of time that the police were planning on the maneuver. The Ministry in turn contacted The National Police Federation of Iceland (LL), the police officers’ union, and threatened to file charges against them for illegal collective bargaining negotiation tactics.
Sources close to RÚV say that entire departments are unstaffed today, and regular police patrols are in disarray. In fact, police departments in the countryside that RÚV contacted found much the same story.
Police have long been unsatisfied with their collective bargaining terms. Apart from wages they consider to be too low, LL takes special issue with the fact that police cannot legally go on strike. Icelandic police once had the right to go on strike, but this was rescinded in 1986. They have fought ever since to get it back.
Last month, police engaged in random traffic stops to make their case to the general public, one driver at a time. They have also reached out to members of parliament to craft legislation giving them the right to strike again, but such legislation has yet to move forward.