Strike News: Bus Service Will Be Affected, VR On Board To Strike - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Strike News: Bus Service Will Be Affected, VR On Board To Strike

Published March 14, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Linda Björk Eiríksdóttir

Workers for the Store and Office Workers’ Union (VR) voted in favour of going on strike, RÚV reports. Voter participation was 60.27%, with 52.25% of those voting in favour of the action. This marks now the second major labour union to vote in favour of striking, just days after Efling voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike actions.

Efling and VR are in fact coordinating actions together. The strike days scheduled by the two unions are as follows:

March 22
March 28-29
April 3-5
April 9-11
April 15-17
April 23-25
May 1 will be the start of the indefinite strike if management makes no acceptable offer by that time.

Many workers in both of these unions are employed by hotels in and around the greater Reykjavík area. The hotel companies which will be directly affected by the strike days are the following:

Fosshótel Reykjavík ehf.
Íslandshótel hf.
Flugleiðahótel ehf.
Cabin ehf.
Hótel Saga ehf.
Miðbæjarhótel/Centerhotels ehf.
Hótel Klettur ehf.
Örkin Veitingar ehf.
Keahótel ehf.
Hótel Frón ehf.
Hótel 1919 ehf.
Hótel Óðinsvé hf.
Hótel Leifur Eiríksson ehf.
Hótel Smári ehf.
Fjörukráin ehf. (Hotel Viking)
Hótel Holt Hausti ehf.
Hótelkeðjan ehf.
CapitalHotels ehf.
Kex Hostel
101 (einn núll einn) hótel ehf.

Furthermore, Efling is also going to be holding work restrictions; a labour tool wherein the workers involved refrain from performing all the tasks assigned to them. The schedule for Efling hotel workers of these restrictions and what they entail are the following:

March 18 through April 30: Only doing what is in the job description.
March 23 through April 30: No cleaning toilets, no cleaning common areas.
March 30 through April 30: No cleaning rooms where guests have not checked out, no service breakfast.
April 26 through April 30: No laundry service.

Bus service will also be affected by strike actions, as many Efling workers are bus drivers and workers for Almenningsvagnar Kynnisferða—which services a part of capital area public transport company Strætó’s buses. In addition to observing the same strike schedule as hotel workers, Efling bus driver work restrictions will be the following:

March 18 through April 30: Only doing what is in the job description.
March 23 through April 30: No checking of tickets or counting of passengers.
March 23 through March 29: Bus drivers will stop the bus for 5 minutes everyday at 16:00.
April 1 through April 30: Saturdays and Sundays excluded, affected bus routes will stop working from 07:00-09:00 in the morning and 16:00-18:00 in the afternoon.
April 6 through April 30: No work before noon.

Bus routes 11 through 17; 21 through 24; 28; 31; 33 through 36; 43 and 44 will be directly affected. Routes 1 through 7 and 18 will not. Bus services for the disabled will continue uninterrupted.

All of these actions depend on whether or not management brings an offer to the negotiations table that satisfy worker proposals. Workers are not only fighting for a living wage but also tax relief, rent control, and actual penalties for companies which violate labour contracts and the law.

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