Propose a “One-Stop Shop” for Immigrants

Several MPs are proposing the establishment of a “one-stop shop” for new immigrants in Iceland, Kjarninn reports. Left Green Movement MP Kolbeinn Óttarsson Proppé is the main proponent of a bill to that effect, which the group plans to introduce in the coming parliamentary term.

Immigrants currently account for nearly 12% of Iceland’s population of 353,000. Their number has never been higher, and never increased as quickly as in the past 18 months. Kolbeinn says the institution would be a place where new residents could go for information regardless of where they are from or where in Iceland they have settled.

“Whether its of one’s own accord or of necessity due to bad circumstances, everyone benefits from getting the best guidance about their new community,” the project proposal stated. “Improved access to information makes people’s change of circumstances easier and at the same time contributes to people becoming active in society much earlier.”

Regional organisations performing such work have sprung up of late in Iceland, such as the Multicultural Centre in Ísafjörður in the Westfjords. Kolbeinn hopes the new institution would collaborate with regional governments, the Icelandic Red Cross, and trade unions to support immigrants in the process of adapting to their new home.

Fired for Calling Out Sexist Behaviour

Áslaug Thelma Einarsdóttir says she spoke up about former ON Power CEO Bjarni Már Júlíusson’s misogynistic behaviour over a period of 18 months, and was eventually fired for doing so. The former Managing Director of Consumer Markets at the company condemns ON Power and the City of Reykjavík for their handling of the case and says she will take legal action. RÚV reported first.

ON Power is a subsidiary of Reykjavík Energy, whose majority owner is the City of Reykjavík. Former ON Power CEO Bjarni Már Júlíusson was fired due to misogynistic conduct last week. Áslaug condemns the action as too little, too late.

“In a number of cases for over 18 months I commented on the conduct of this director to the Human Resources Director of Reykjavík Energy,” Áslaug stated in a Facebook post today. “This had to do with his conduct in public and at meetings with clients and in private meetings he called my female colleagues inside and outside ON names that no one should use. He accused my subordinate of not being horny or organised enough when he tried openly in front of witnesses to “cure” her of the illness of being single. Then at one meeting he accused me in front of the employee manager of flirting my way to a higher salary in talks with the previous managing director. Ergo: I wasn’t worth my salary and or plainly that I was a prostitute. I could go on forever.”

Bjarni Bjarnason, CEO of Reykjavík Energy, stated last week that Bjarni Már was fired because of a single inappropriate email. Áslaug’s asserts however that the Reykjavík Energy CEO had known about multiple instances of inappropriate behaviour for some time.

“Today at 2.00pm I will meet a lawyer as I do not see that ON Power, Reykjavík Energy, or the City of Reykjavik is showing any effort to discuss with me further, and consequently to correct the damage I have suffered – to be fired for doing the right thing. Fired for trying to protect myself and my female colleagues,” stated Áslaug in her post. “I will in consultation with him, demand my rights in full.”