From Iceland — Apartment Hotel Cleaners Fired For Complaining

Apartment Hotel Cleaners Fired For Complaining

Published June 6, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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All eight cleaners for a popular tourist apartment company were fired when they complained to authorities about their working conditions.

RÚV reports that the employees in question had one request: staff facilities. As it is, those who clean the rooms and apartments for Stay Apartments have no break room, nor even their own bathroom. Instead, they use the toilets in the apartments they clean to relieve themselves.

“We said we wanted to get in touch with the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health in Iceland (AOSH), and get them on board to work out a solution,” Ragnhildur Jóhannsdóttir, one of the former employees of Stay Apartments, told reporters. Shortly thereafter, all eight employees were fired.

Halldór Gerhard Meyer, the owner of Stay Apartments, told reporters that he is aware that the arrangement he had made with the former employees violates work regulations, which requires that all employers provide their employees with bathroom facilities, so long as those facilities are not directly connected to the work area.

Furthermore, Halldór admitted to having fired all eight workers without notice, opting instead to sign a contract with the cleaning company Sólarþrif. He said as well that he had looked at a nearby apartment for a possible staff area, but was concerned that it would lead to “nothing changing and everything happening all over again”.

“Whether it’s wrong, I don’t know, but [their complaints] pushed me to complete the contract [with Sólarþrif],” Halldór told reporters. “It could very well be that I violated their rights on this occasion and didn’t listen to them well enough.”

UPDATE: RÚV now reports that AOSH will be visiting Stay Apartments today. They told reporters that this is not the first time they have had to get involved with operations at the establishment, and that they consider this case “very serious”.

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