Two rulings were delivered today in the drawn-out and tense collective agreement negotiations between Iceland’s second-largest union and the Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise (SA). The District Court of Reykjavík ruled this afternoon that Efling Union must hand over the membership registry it has been withholding from the state mediator. Just over an hour later, the Labour Court ruled that a proposed hotel workers’ strike set to begin in Reykjavík tomorrow is, in fact, legal.
District Court rules in state mediator’s favour
In late January, the state mediator presented a mediation proposal in the wage dispute between Efling and SA, which met with criticism from both parties. The proposal was to be put to a vote by the members of Efling, but the vote proved impossible to carry out as Efling withheld its membership registry from the state mediator’s office. The District Court has now ruled that the union must hand over the registry. Efling chairperson Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir called the ruling “wrong and unfair” and previously stated she would appeal the ruling if it was not in the union’s favour.
Labour Court rules in Efling’s favour
Meanwhile, some 300 Efling members working at seven Reykjavík hotels have voted to begin striking tomorrow. The Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise (SA) had previously challenged the legality of the strike before the Labour Court, which ruled today in the union’s favour.
More Efling members are voting on additional strike actions: 500 hotel workers at the Berjaya Hotels chain and the Reykjavík Edition hotel, as well as some 70 delivery truck drivers are voting on whether to strike. Polls close tomorrow, and if members vote in favour, these additional strikes are set to begin on February 15. Strikes would be called off if an agreement were to be reached between Efling and SA before that date.