From Iceland — Efling Elects New Directorship

Efling Elects New Directorship

Published February 16, 2022

Photo by
efling.is

Following last evening’s elections for the directorship of the labour union Efling, former director Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir and the other candidates in “Baráttulistinn”, or simply B-list, the other candidates for the board for Efling under her auspices, have been elected to lead the union, Efling reports.

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There were three candidate lists in the running: A-list, which was led by Ólöf Helga Adolfsdóttir; B-list; and C-list, led by Guðmundur Jónatan Baldursson. When all votes were tallied, A-list received 1,434 votes; B-list received 2,047 votes; and C-list received 331 votes.

Voter participation was also up from the 2018 Efling leadership elections. There were in all 25,842 union members eligible to vote in these elections, and 3,900 turned in ballots, marking a participation increase of about 45% from the previous elections.

Ólöf Helga told Vísir that while she was disappointed by the outcome, she naturally respects the will of union members. She also said that there are lessons that can be learned from the previous weeks of campaigning, saying that it is important for members to give Efling’s board more restraint now than before.

In her victory speech, Sólveig Anna said in part, “I want us to take some time to accept that after all that has gone on, all the horror that has gone on, we managed to get the approval of Efling’s members that we on the [B-list] should be allowed to lead the economic justice struggle for low-wage earners in the capital area.”

Sólveig Anna’s re-elections comes just over three months after resigning from her position following criticism from union members who wanted to see changes made to how management handled operations. Following her resignation, shop stewards emphasised to the media that they never wanted her to resign; that they sought to resolve the matter in-house, and hoped that the feedback would instead lead to changes in management practices.

The subsequent campaign has been heated, to say the least, with allegations made against former Efling managing director Viðar Þorsteinsson, accusing him of bullying and misogyny within Efling offices. For his part, Viðar categorically denied these allegations, saying that they were fabrications intended to hurt Sólveig’s campaign.

The matter is far from over, however, as Morgunblaðið reports that three women–Elín Hanna Kjart­ans­dótt­ir, Kristjana Val­geirs­dótt­ir and Anna Lísa Terraza–intend to take Efling to Reykjavík District Court over what they consider to be a breach of their working contracts, following all of them being fired from their jobs.

As things stand now, the change in Efling management could occur around Easter, which is when the union’s next general meeting is scheduled, but Efling could decide to schedule an earlier meeting in order to initiate that change in management sooner. A decision on this is still pending.

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