From Iceland — One Of Iceland's Largest Labour Unions Ready To Strike If Necessary

One Of Iceland’s Largest Labour Unions Ready To Strike If Necessary

Published February 12, 2019

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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The results of a new Gallup poll show that the vast majority of members of the Efling trade union are willing to go on strike if need be. The director of Efling has said the union is prepared for that eventuality should it come to pass.

RÚV reports that about 80% of respondents to the Gallup poll, all of them members of Efling, said they viewed favourably the notion of going on strike in order to help their demands get met. The same proportion believe the union’s demands are reasonable.

As reported, these demands include raising the minimum wage for these workers by about 40%, to 425,000 ISK, which union leaders argue is necessary to meet the rising cost of living, especially as it pertains to rent. However, management have been insistent that they do not have the flexibility to offer pay rises of this extent.

Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, the chair of Efling, told RÚV that Efling has a viable strike fund should the worst case scenario come to pass. She also believes the poll results are both unsurprising and unequivocal.

“I believe this sends a clear message that the time has come for the people we’re negotiating with to stop banging their hands against a wall and listen to our reasonable demands,” she told reporters.

Negotiations between labour and management are still ongoing, and while both sides have expressed confidence in a resolution, wage increases remain a sore sticking point, at least where management is concerned.

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