All 14 employees at Altjódahús, the Intercultural Center in Reykjavík, have been laid off. Their term of notice expires on January 1, 2010. The reason for the layoffs is a delay of Reykjavík City’s service agreement with Althjódahús for next year.
Althjódahús in its previous location. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The representatives of Altjódahús and Reykjavík City pointed at each other when Fréttabladid’s reporters asked about the reason for the delay.
Anna Kristinsdóttir, the city’s human rights director—the human rights council is responsible for making the agreement with Althjódahús on behalf of Reykjavík City—told RÚV last night that the reason that the agreement hasn’t been renewed is that Althjódahús has yet to submit its financial statement.
However, as chairperson of Althjódahús Katla Thorsteinsdóttir claimed, all necessary statements were submitted last spring. Now Reykjavík City is asking about the financial statement of the non-profit organization that owns Althjódahús, which doesn’t have anything to do with its operations.
Thorsteinsdóttir dismissed the inclusion of the financial statement of the non-profit organization as insignificant, even though the agreement with Reykjavík City states that it should be submitted as well.
Thorsteinsdóttir also criticized the city’s contribution to Althjódahús this year, which she said had been cut from ISK 30 million (USD 235,000, EUR 150,000) to ISK 20 million without Althjódahús being consulted. The news of the cut reached Althjódahús in the middle of the year when more funds had expected.
Furthermore, ISK 5 million (USD 40,000, EUR 25,000) of the ISK 20 were supposed to be dispatched to Altjódahús yesterday, Thorsteinsdóttir claimed, but the transfer was canceled due to the aforementioned dispute.