Efling Union Chairperson Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir has resigned after the union’s staff sent letters of no-confidence to her, the union, and Icelandic media on Friday, Vísir reports. The Union’s CEO Viðar Þorsteinsson has told Kjarninn he will follow in her footsteps and hand in his resignation letter today. Sólveig Anna has denied accusations of bullying within Efling’s office.
Efling is Iceland’s second-largest labour union, with around 27,000 members working in public service, healthcare, and other industries. Sólveig Anna became Efling’s chair in 2018 and led wage negotiations and strikes among City of Reykjavík employees and hotel workers calling for better wages and working conditions for low earners.
In a Facebook post announcing her resignation, Sólveig Anna writes that Efling staff representatives signed passed a resolution on June 9 that accused her of serious offences, including keeping a so-called “execution list.” Sólveig Anna denied the accusations in her post and says she referred the matter to other Efling executives, who followed up on the issue. According to Sólveig Anna, she then received a written statement that the case was closed.
The case was picked up by media when another board member requested access to the contents of the letter but was denied by Efling’s board. After media contacted Sólveig Anna last Thursday requesting comment on the matter, she issued an ultimatum to the Efling board: either a written statement would be issued that withdrew the accusations on her account or she would resign. Following a meeting, employees “unequivocally confirmed” the contents of the original letter and sent Sólveig Anna and Efling’s management a statement of no-confidence as well as sending out a statement to media. The statements assert that serious problems persist within the Efling office that need to be addressed.