From Iceland — Strike For Reykjavík City Workers In Efling Labour Union Begins Today

Strike For Reykjavík City Workers In Efling Labour Union Begins Today

Published February 11, 2020

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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The ongoing labour dispute between Reykjavík City workers within the labour union Efling and the city itself continues, as strikes will commence at 12:30 today and continue Thursday.

As reported, the strike has overwhelming support amongst these workers. There are approximately 1,800 people who work for the City of Reykjavík who are in Efling, including some 1,000 playschool workers and 710 caregivers. These workers have been without a collective bargaining agreement since March 31st of last year, and the union believes that its workers are long overdue for a wage correction.

Unfortunately, negotiations with the city have not gone particularly well. In fact, they have completely broken down, with Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson repeatedly insisting that raising the wages for these workers would unnecessarily compel the wages of higher paid and more educated workers to be raised as well.

This argument is referred to as a “dolphin jump” (höfrungahlaup) in Icelandic, more commonly known as “leapfrogging” in the English speaking world.

However, as Efling points out in a recent Facebook post, not only are these workers already being paid below what other so-called “untrained” workers are paid; correcting their wages would not necessitate having to engage in any leapfrogging at all.

While Efling workers are expected to return to their jobs this Friday, if a collective bargaining agreement cannot be reached between Efling and the City of Reykjavík by the following Monday, February 17th at 12:01, an indefinite strike will commence.

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