Efling Members to Vote on a Near 1700-Person Strike Thursday Skip to content
efling union hotel strike
Photo: Efling trade union members on strike – Golli.

Efling Members to Vote on a Near 1700-Person Strike Thursday

Last Sunday, Efling’s negotiating committee unanimously approved three additional strike actions, Vísir reports. If these actions are approved by union members, an additional 1700 workers would go on strike by the end of the month.

Voting to begin on Thursday

On Sunday, February 12, the negotiating committee of the Efling union unanimously approved the motion to put three strike notices to a vote among members. If approved, approximately 1700 Efling members are set to go on strike. These include employees of hotels, including the hotel chains Centerhotels and Keahótels; security companies, including Securitas and Öryggismiðstöðin; and cleaning companies, including Sólar and Dagar, alongside other smaller cleaning companies.

“Efling’s previous three strike notices were approved with a decisive majority and a good turnout,” a statement from Efling notes. “ Voting starts at noon on Thursday and ends at 6 PM on Monday.”

The announcement also quotes Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, Chair of Efling, as saying: “Over the last few weeks, the voting on strikes has clearly demonstrated that essential workers in all sectors of the labour market in the capital region are united. Our demand is for a fair wage agreement that takes into account the circumstances and composition of our members. I encourage negotiating parties to strike an agreement with us.”

700 already on strike – and more to go on strike tomorrow

Last week, nearly 700 Efling union members went on strike at seven hotels belonging to the Íslandshotel chain in Reykjavík – and tomorrow is expected to see more union members join those strikes, including workers employed by other hotels, oil truck drivers in the capital area, and employees of the shipping company Samskip.

Yesterday, the Court of Appeal (Landsréttur) ruled that the Efling union does not need to hand over its membership registry to the state mediator. Following the ruling, the state mediator was given permission by the Minister of Social Affairs and the Labour Market to step aside. The Director General of the Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise (SA), Halldór Benjamín Þórbergsson, stated that he regrets the mediator’s decision.

Today, Halldór Benjamín told Vísir that he did not rule out the possibility of the government intervening to block Efling’s strikes. Otherwise, society would become paralyzed by or after the weekend.

“In the coming days, society will feel the effects of strikes in a tangible way. I predict that either side of the weekend, most of our daily lives will be paralysed. Politicians cannot afford to stand on the sidelines when such a situation has arisen,” Halldór Benjamín stated.

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