From Iceland — Major Labour Strike Possibly On The Horizon

Major Labour Strike Possibly On The Horizon

Published February 20, 2020

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Workers for BSRB (The Federation of State and Municipal Employees) have voted overwhelmingly in favour of going on strike. Work stoppages will begin on March 9, with a general strike commencing on April 15, if a collective bargaining agreement is not reached at that time.

The official site of BSRB announced that 87.6% of workers within the union who participated in the vote voted in favour of the actions. This will apply to some 15,400 workers in 15 different trade unions.

The strike is expected to directly affect health care workers, including those working for Landspítali hospital, as well as workers at playschools, primary schools, and afterschool centres. Workers at pools, sports clubs, and caregivers for the elderly are also amongst the workers who will be striking.

If no collective bargaining agreement is reached by March 9, BSRB workers for the City of Reykjavík and the Icelandic Association of Local Authorities will have work stoppages on March 9, 10, 17, 18, 24, 26, 31 and April 1. All other workers will strike on and from March 9. If a collective bargaining agreement is still not reached by April 15, a general strike for all BSRB workers will commence.

Workers for the 15 trade unions listed in the announcement will participate in the strike. Three other unions—those of the police, customs officials and national government workers—expressed support for the strike, but are not allowed by law to participate.

BSRB workers have not had a valid collective bargaining agreement since April 1 of 2019.

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