One-Day, Widespread Work Stoppage In Iceland Could Be Two Weeks Away - The Reykjavik Grapevine

One-Day, Widespread Work Stoppage In Iceland Could Be Two Weeks Away

Published February 22, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Daniel Lobo/Creative Commons

The Efling labour union will soon vote on a widespread one-day work stoppage that would affect housekeeping at hotels and guesthouses around the capital area, the union has announced.

The announcement comes on the heels of an impending massive strike that, while still needing a vote from union members before going forward, still has the support from the vast majority of Efling workers.

The work stoppage, should it come to pass, will “apply to cleaning, housekeeping and laundry services for rooms and other sleeping accommodation and connected areas and services … in all hotels and guesthouses in the area which Efling has jurisdiction over”. This jurisdiction covers a wide area, including “Reykjavík, Kópavogur, Seltjarnarnes, Mosfellsbær, Kjós, Grímsnes og Grafningshreppur, Hveragerði, Ölfus County, and additionally Hafnarfjörður and Garðabær.”

These workers are amongst the lowest-paid workers in Iceland, and Efling has been fighting for a wage increase that they consider long overdue.

The full announcement is as follows:

The meeting of Efling’s negotiations committee on the 21st February decided to go forward with a general secret electronic strike ballot to those workplaces who are under the general agreement between S.A. and Efling and the Keflavík union, specifically those working in restaurants, hotels and associated industries, which ran out on the 31st of December 2018.

The work stoppage, if it will be agreed, will apply to cleaning, housekeeping and laundry services for rooms and other sleeping accommodation and connected areas and services, for example in corridors, toilets and shared spaces, in all hotels and guesthouses in the area which Efling has jurisdiction over, which includes the areas of Reykjavík, Kópavogur, Seltjarnarnes, Mosfellsbær, Kjós, Grímsnes og Grafningshreppur, Hveragerði, Ölfus County, and additionally Hafnarfjörður and Garðabær.

It is proposed that work stoppages of these members will be temporary and will begin at 10:00 on the morning of 8th of March 2019 and will finish at 23:59 on the same day except if the collective agreement has been signed before this time.

The vote will begin at 10:00 on the morning of 25.2.2019 and ends at 22:00 on Thursday 28.2.2019.

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