The Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise (SA) has called for Efling Union to stop collecting members’ votes on a proposed hotel workers’ strike set to take place on March 8. In a press release on their website, SA states the vote is being conducted illegally and threatened to bring the case before the Labour Court. Efling representatives insist the union is in the right.
After wage negotiations broke down between SA and workers’ unions last week, Efling Union began to prepare for strike action. The proposed one-day strike would occur on March 8, applying to Efling members who work in cleaning, housekeeping, and laundry services in hotels and guest houses in the Reykjavík capital area as well as some nearby municipalities. Workers to whom the strike pertains have until Thursday to vote on the issue.
SA asserts that according to the Unions and Labour Disputes Act, only union members directly affected by a proposed strike are permitted to vote on the action. Efling, says SA, is inviting 8,000 members to vote though they have estimated the strike would affect around 700.
Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, Efling’s chairperson, says that SA’s opposition does not come as a surprise. She adds, however, that the vote has been organised carefully and with legal counsel. “We are fully confident that we are doing everything correctly,” she stated.