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Icelandic Labour Union Offers Free Event To Help Foreign Workers Know Their Rights

Icelandic Labour Union Offers Free Event To Help Foreign Workers Know Their Rights

Andie Fontaine
Words by

Published October 5, 2018

Efling, one of Iceland’s largest labour unions and to a large extent comprised of foreign workers, will be holding an event tomorrow to discuss work conditions in hotels and restaurants—trades that have dominated worker grievances of wage theft.

The event, entitled “Is your boss stealing from you?”, will be held tomorrow at the Gerðuberg Library at 14:30. It will lead with Ingólfur Jónsson, an Efling staff member, giving a short presentation “on the current situation on the hospitality sector”.

About 70% of worker grievances of wage theft—wherein employers withold a worker’s due pay, in whole or in part—come from this sector. Adding insult to injury, there is no legal penalty for wage theft in Iceland.

After this presentation, workers will then share their experiences of working in restaurants and hotels.

“The meeting will be streamed live and recorded, to enable people who cannot attend the meeting to watch from home,” the event text reads in part. “It will be held mostly in English, but a live, on-screen Icelandic/English translation of the meeting’s content will be provided.”

Furthermore, if you are a worker with children, you can register for child care at the location itself here.

The event is especially pertinent in light of recent news—although certainly not reported on for the first time—that exploitation of foreign workers extends to literally thousands of immigrants in Iceland, most of whom are working in sectors directly or indirectly connected to the tourism industry.


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