The Federation of General and Special Workers in Iceland (SGS), the Confederation of Labor (ASÍ) and others have criticized fishing company HB Grandi for paying shareholders dividends of eight percent when laborers are denied pay raises.
“It forces us to reevaluate the decision of postponing wage contract reviews, because it is evident that there are more funds available than stated, at least in this profession,” chairman of SGS Kristján Gunnarsson told Morgunbladid.
Fishing in Iceland. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
Last month, ASÍ accepted a request from the Confederation of Icelandic Employers (SA), in light of the current economic situation, to postpone reviewing wage contracts for their members and the subsequent demand for higher salaries.
President of ASÍ Gylfi Arnbjörnsson expressed his surprise at HB Grandi’s decision to pay out dividends considering the current circumstances on the employment market.
Because of that decision and declarations HB Grandi has made that it is performing well financially, Efling labor union challenges the board to immediately raise the salaries of its employees.
“If people have the ability to pay themselves generous dividends during the current situation in this society, then they also have the ability to increase the salaries of fish-processing laborers, who certainly deserve it,” Gunnarsson stated.
Gunnarsson pointed out that fish-processing laborers have for the past months worked even harder to obtain sought-after foreign exchange earnings for the country. “I certainly hope that the board of [HB] Grandi will come to their senses and fix this matter before all hell breaks loose in this society.”