A majority of the workers at Straumsvík aluminium smelter, near Reykjavík, have voted to strike. Vísir reports that the strike actions begin on October 16 and involve daily strikes among certain professions within the smelter throughout November. A general strike is scheduled to begin on December 1 if an agreement is not reached by that date.
According to Reinhold Richter, a union representative, the striking workers belong to five different unions and are demanding the same wage hikes as are outlined in the “standard of living contract” signed by unions and the Icelandic Confederation of Enterprise (SA) in 2019.
The smelter is owned by Rio Tinto, one of the largest metal and mining corporations in the world. Earlier this year, the company considered suspending production at Straumsvík to minimise losses. Rio Tinto executives have also complained that high power costs have contributed to the company’s losses and are preparing a lawsuit against Iceland’s National Power Company.