An extension of the collective wage agreements from May 2011 was signed at the headquarters of the Icelandic Confederation of Labor (ASÍ) yesterday, guaranteeing wage earners on the general labor market a 3.25-percent increase in salaries as of February 1.
The agreements will be valid until the end of November 2013, cutting the validation period by two months, ruv.is reports.
The agreements were signed by chair of the Confederation of Icelandic Employers (SA) Vilmundur Jósefsson and president of ASÍ Gylfi Arnbjörnsson. They were both pleased with the fact that peace has been secured on the employment market throughout most of this year.
Vilmundur stated that preparations for the next collective wage agreements have already begun. “I find it necessary, of course, to try and create a framework that society can live up to when it comes to wage agreements and that we won’t end up in a spiral of increases of pricing and wage level in exchange.”
Gylfi is also satisfied with the arrangement given the circumstances, as he told Fréttablaðið. “It both guarantees that the agreed salary increases be executed—which wasn’t a given—and peace on the employment market.”
It is also emphasized in the agreements that a realistic strategy on employment development for the coming years be implemented after the election in April 2013.
They state that the strategy should include actions on monetary issues, equal rights to benefits and counteraction against black labor and owners of bankrupt companies reopening their businesses shortly afterwards under a new kennitala (business identification number), a practice known as kennitöluflakk.
“I must remain optimistic but [a wide-reaching solidarity] won’t be achieved unless everyone collaborates, including the government,” Gylfi concluded.
Click here to read about the signing of the last collective wage agreements.