Union Declares "Cease Fire", Strikes In Iceland Postponed - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Union Declares “Cease Fire”, Strikes In Iceland Postponed

Published April 2, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick/ASÍ

The basic framework for a wage agreement between several Icelandic labour unions and management means the ongoing strikes are postponed for now. As such, scheduled hotel worker strikes are on hold for the time being, and the last bus drivers’ strike will occur this afternoon.

In an announcement from the labour union Efling, which has been coordinating the strikes of hotel workers and bus drivers alike, the union says that the agreement still needs to be finalised, which requires a response from the office of the State Mediator. In the interim, strikes that were scheduled for this month and beyond are postponed.

Nonetheless, Efling is regarding this as just one step towards a broader goal.

“The outcome of these talks is not an ultimate victory but a line of cease-fire between the working class and the class of capital owners,” Efling chair Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir says in the statement. “The struggle between them continues. I am glad to have formed a basis for closing a deal after long and arduous negotiations. Our union members will of course have the last word on whether they will vote for the contract or vote against it. But I think that with this contractual basis we’ve managed to meet our union members’ demands for wage increases.”

Furthermore, the bus driver’s for public transport who were slated to strike all this week will also postpone this action, starting tomorrow; today’s scheduled bus route strikes are still in effect.

Efling is one of four unions currently fighting not only for a living wage but also tax relief, rent control, and actual penalties for companies which violate labour contracts and the law. The actual details of this wage agreement will be revealed, if approved by union workers.

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