From Iceland — Management Doubtful They Can Scab For Long

Management Doubtful They Can Scab For Long

Published March 5, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Haukur Herbertsson/Creative Commons

A spokesperson for Rio Tinto Alcan doubts that management will be able to continue to scab against striking harbour workers.

Ólafur Teitur Guðnason, the spokesperson for Rio Tinto Alcan, told Vísir that despite recently offloading some 3,000 tonnes of aluminium onto outbound ships, he does not believe members of management will be able to keep it up for very long.

“I can’t see this lasting very long,” he told reporters. “We were lucky with the weather this time – it can make a big difference in the safety of people working there.”

Ólafur remains optimistic that the current collective bargaining disagreement between labour and management will be resolved soon.

“We have always been convinced that it is possible to agree on a fair wage increase, if [Rio Tinto Alcan] gets to sit at the same table as other companies regarding subcontracting,” he said.

As reported, last Tuesday County Seat allowed 15 members of management to scab, doing the jobs of the workers currently on strike, in order to export the aluminium the smelter is producing. Union officials have harshly criticised the practice, with Guðmundur Ragnarsson, the chairperson of The Icelandic Union of Marine Engineers and Metal Technicians (VM), pointing out that “one of the cornerstones of the labour struggle in Iceland is the demand that the same salary is paid for the same work” – meanwhile, management are making millions of krónur each month while doing jobs that pay far less.

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