In a final push to avert a strike, the state mediator called a meeting between representatives from the Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise (SA) and the Efling Union; the meeting, which is reportedly the shortest ever to be held at the state mediator’s facilities, was unsuccessful, RÚV reports.
Chair of SA critical of Sólveig’s “intransigence”
As Efling members began to vote on strike action, the state mediator invited Efling’s negotiating committee back to the negotiating table alongside the Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise (SA) today. The meeting did not go well, lasting “all of about a minute,” according to RÚV.
In an interview following the meeting, Halldór Benjamín Þorbergsson, Chair of SA, told RÚV that Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, Chair of the Efling Union, was preventing agreements from being reached, and by calling a strike – forfeiting the possibility of retroactive wage agreements.
The Deep North Podcast: Wage Negotiations
“With the intransigence that she displayed today, Sólveig Anna is preventing union members from contractual wage improvements,” Halldór remarked.
“Disgusting and unacceptable”
Sólveig Anna responded bluntly to SA’s criticism. “Do people really think it’s normal, acceptable, that while you can criticise the dress code and behaviour of Efling members, you can’t pay those same people, who produce the profits, which find their way into other people’s pockets, decent wages?”
Sólveig Anna iterated her conviction that Efling members were prepared to go on strike in order to push for decent wages.
“It is a characteristic of civilised societies that people can provide for themselves with the work they do. In the case of many Efling members, this is simply not the case. I find it disgusting. Unacceptable. And we are fighting for this to be changed,” Sólveig Anna told RÚV.