From Iceland — Director Pay Rise And Worker Pay Cuts Spark Discontent At Harpa Concert Hall

Director Pay Rise And Worker Pay Cuts Spark Discontent At Harpa Concert Hall

Published May 8, 2018

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Jón Benediktsson

20 service workers at Reykjavík’s Harpa Concert Hall have walked off the job over pay cuts they were compelled to accept, while the director received a significant pay rise. One star performer has already refused to perform there until the dispute is resolved.

Vísir reports that these employees quit their jobs after meeting with Harpa Concert Hall director Svanhildur Konráðsdóttir.

As reported, Svanhildur was last year awarded a 20% pay rise last year, taking her monthly salary from 1.3 million ISK to 1.56 million ISK, while service employees were compelled to accept significant cuts to their pay.

The workers who met with Svanhildur were reportedly dissatisfied with her explanations as to why she deserved a pay rise but employees needed to accept a pay cut. In a statement to the press, the workers explain that their duties have actually been piling up over the past few months, requiring them to take on extra tasks.

“Quiting our jobs at Harpa is a very big decision,” the statement concludes. “We care very deeply about our work, the hall, and its guests.”

The news has inspired a great deal of consternation in Icelandic social media discussions, and has precipitated beloved singer Ellen Kristjánsdóttir to support the workers in this matter, saying that she will not set foot on stage at Harpa until the salaries of these workers have been corrected.

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