The police were called to the Fosshótel hotel in Reykjavík today. Representatives of the hotel accused Efling’s strike guards of threats. The union maintains that the hotel authorities are using force to cover up strike violations.
Efling accuses Íslandshótel of strike violations
This afternoon, the Íslandshótel hotel chain announced that strike guards from the Efling union had threatened non-Efling hotel employees, alongside other employees, who were doing their jobs, RÚV reports. “With this behaviour, Efling has far exceeded normal limits, and in light of the measures, the representatives of Íslandshótel have now decided not to accommodate further visits by representatives of Efling,” a statement by Íslandshótel notes.
Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, Chair of the Efling union, told RÚV that a group of 7-9 people arrived at the Fosshótel hotel at lunchtime in order to monitor the ongoing strikes. The group was prevented from entering the hotel by the hotel staff, who told union representatives that only two people were allowed into the hotel at a time. Sólveig maintained that it was not possible to manage a strike in such a large hotel with only two people. Protests ensued. In a statement from Efling later this afternoon, the union stated that the purpose of the company was “obviously to cover up strike violations,” which Efling’s strike guards witnessed.
The union also accused a security guard of having pushed strikers at Grand Hotel off the premises by force. “The company completely rejects the untruths that Íslandshótel have sent to the media today, that is, that Efling’s strike guards have made unspecified ‘threats.’ This is pure fabrication and typical of the company’s misleading information to its employees and the public over the past week.”
Protests outside Fosshótel
A reporter from RÚV has followed the hotel strikes closely. The reporter stated that a group of about thirty people from the Efling union arrived at the Fosshótel hotel in order to protest. The representatives of the hotel considered these actions a bit extreme. The doors of the hotel were locked, and patrons experienced some difficulty entering the hotel. The hotel staff later called the police.
After negotiations, mediated by the Association of Icelandic Enterprise (SA), five Efling members were allowed to enter the hotel on the condition that the rest of the group left the premises. According to a statement from Íslandshotel, it was not possible to agree to the group’s request for such a large number of strike guards as initially planned, as guests deserved peace and privacy – despite the strikes.