Vast Majority Of Icelanders Ready To Go On Strike - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Vast Majority Of Icelanders Ready To Go On Strike

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Art Bicnick

74% of Icelanders say that the conditions in the labour market justify the use of the strike in order to improve the quality of life for all workers, a new poll from Market and Media Research (MMR) shows.

In a recent interview, three of Iceland’s labour leaders, with a combined representation of most of Iceland’s work force, have said that they are gearing up for a hard fight against management in the upcoming labour talks this winter, likening it to “class war”. MMR’s latest poll indicates that the vast majority of workers are ready, too.

As always, the demographics of the poll paint a more detailed picture.

Women (81%) were more likely than men (68%) to support a strike, and there was marginally more support for striking in the countryside (77%) than in the greater Reykjavík area (72%). Support for a strike decreased with age, but even the majority over the retirement age of 68 showed support, at 56%.

Unsurprisingly, the management class were the only professions of whom the majority were opposed to a strike, at 63%, but in terms of income level, even those earning more than one million ISK per month were in support, at 66%.

There were also significant differences of opinion amongst voters of different parties. Only in the Independence Party were most voters opposed to a strike, at 71%. For every other party, most voters were in support, with the People’s Party (97%), the Pirate Party (96%), the Social Democrats and the Left-Greens (90% each) almost universally in favour. Even most voters for the pro-business Reform Party and Progressive Party support going on strike, at 72% and 71% respectively.

Collective bargaining determines the minimum wage for the different trades in Iceland, and wages will likely feature prominently in this winter’s negotiations.


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