Union Leader Critical of Grindavík's Rushed Reopening Skip to content

Union Leader Critical of Grindavík’s Rushed Reopening

By Ragnar Tómas

Photo: Golli. Grindavík.

The Chairman of the Grindavík Workers’ Union has criticised the reopening of Grindavík, citing inadequate infrastructure and safety concerns. He advocates for legislative changes to improve the conditions under which Grindavík residents sell and potentially repurchase their homes, aiming for fairness and financial security.

Irresponsible to reopen Grindavík

In an interview with the radio programme Morgunútvarpið on RÚV this morning, Hörður Guðbrandsson, Chairman of the Grindavík Workers’ Union (Verkalýðsfélag Grindavíkur), expressed his astonishment that Grindavík had been reopened for both business operations and individual residences.

“Essentially flinging the town doors wide open, with virtually no cold water, almost no hot water, and a sewer system whose functionality under stress is completely unknown, not to mention that fissures in town are still being mapped out. I have serious reservations about this,” Hörður observed.

Hörður remarked that some employees are apprehensive about returning to work in the town. He trusts some companies would implement safety plans to resume operations but only when conditions permit; he believes that the situation requires further investigation to ensure people’s safety.

Hörður also noted that there had been no consultation with labour unions, although they have been invited to a meeting with the minister today.

“I find it utterly irresponsible to allow people to stay there. It’s as if we’re proposing to abolish traffic laws and telling people: ‘it’s dangerous, but let’s just be careful; let’s be on our toes?’”

Advocates for changes to legislation

Hörður continues to advocate for changes to the legislative bill on purchasing homes in Grindavík.

“No Grindavík resident will be in the same position after selling. They will be buying homes in more expensive areas, moving to smaller accommodations, switching from detached houses to apartment buildings, incurring more debt, and the like.”

Hörður wants the 95% benchmark of fire insurance value to be increased and for people to be given more time to decide whether to repurchase their homes. It must also be ensured that they can do so under the same terms as they sold.

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