From Iceland — Efling Strike Continues, Only Collective Bargaining Agreement Will End It — The Reykjavik Grapevine

Efling Strike Continues, Only Collective Bargaining Agreement Will End It

Published February 17, 2020

Sam O'Donnell
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The strike by members of the labour union Efling working for the City of Reykjavík began at midnight. This is the final phase of the strike, which is scheduled to go on indefinitely. Last week, the second phase of the strike initiated, which lasted 60 hours. A new negotiation meeting has not been convened in the wage dispute.

The city expects the strike to affect 1,650 users of the city’s welfare services. A total of 1,850 members of the union will join. The measures will affect the placement of all pre-school children in the city. The strike seems to impact kindergartens and food services in primary schools the most, according to The City of Reykjavík website.

“The impact of the strike will be felt most strongly in pre-schools as well as food services in primary schools,” the website says. The plan is to divide the children into groups, with one group taken care of in the morning and the other taken care of in the afternoon.

The other major impact on the strike is felt in the waste management department. Garbage disposal services were supposed to take place during the days that the strike will be in effect, but many of these services are reduced at this time. For example, garbage dumps will not be emptied, and the general cleaning of the city will come to a standstill. Waste drop-off centers will not be serviced or cleaned, either.

Snow removal and slip prevention services will also not be carried out, and road work will not be performed. The strike will end once an agreement is reached between the City of Reykjavík and the workers.

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. They are amongst the lowest paid workers for the City of Reykjavík.

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