Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, leader of the Efling union says their demands of pay increase are supported by the majority of its members, RÚV reports. “I would’ve been surprised if our union members hadn’t supported us and hadn’t been willing to do whatever necessary to reach our goals,” Sólveig says.
Her claims are supported by a recent Gallup poll that reveals that about 80% of Efling’s members support the union’s demands and are willing to strike.
Sólveig says that the Efling strike fund is ample and the support revealed by that Gallup poll is positive reinforcement for the battle that lies ahead. “I think this sends the clear message that it’s time for our negotiators to stop beating their heads against the wall and start listening and recognising the legitimacy of our demands.”
Furthermore, Sólveig says she is not surprised that the Gallup poll reveals high support for Efling’s demands amongst immigrants, who are fed up of their treatment in the Icelandic job market.
Monetary concerns of Efling’s union members have not measured higher since the economic crash of 2008. Forty-seven percent said they were worried or very worried about their economic status in August of last year, with the number rising to 63% in the recent Gallup poll.
Sólveit says that high rent and food prices in Iceland have resulted in worsening living conditions among members, despite their workdays growing longer
Asked whether the union’s strike fund is sufficient to support its members, should they decide to strike, Sólveig is clear. “Yes, our funds are in good shape. We can strike. There is no doubt about that.”