May 1 Celebrated with Rallies Skip to content

May 1 Celebrated with Rallies

By Iceland Review

International Workers’ Day was celebrated with more than thirty rallies all over Iceland yesterday, organized by labor unions. In their speeches, labor leaders criticized politicians for corruption and connections to offshore companies, RÚV reports.

Gylfi Arnbjörnsson, head of the Icelandic Confederation of Labor (ASÍ) told Vísir that increasingly, labor contracts are ignored and workers’ rights violated. In some cases, he said the violations are so serious that they verge on human trafficking and slavery. He describes the behavior of certain employers as that of employers at the beginning of the 20th century.

Gylfi told Vísir, the economic boom has seen way too many employees take advantage of young people and foreign labor by not paying them what they deserve.

Finnbogi Sveinbjörnsson, head of the West Fjords Union, gave a speech at Harpa Concert Hall, following the rally in Reykjavík, where he spoke of the benefits workers enjoy from a century-old fight of labor unions. He said, “Common workers are tired of working day in and day out without ever owning anything. We don’t get our debts written off. We’re all tired of dishonesty, forgetfulness, and complete anomie. We’re tired of not seeing matters improve.” He said workers lacked a spokesperson in parliament.

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