State Mediator Not Fearful of Losing Unions' Trust Skip to content
Aðalsteinn Leifsson
Photo: State mediator’s press conference (Screenshot RÚV).

State Mediator Not Fearful of Losing Unions’ Trust

The state mediator does not fear that he has lost the trust of the unions, despite the reaction to his mediating proposal in the dispute between the Efling Union and the Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise (SA), RÚV reports. The proposal was submitted as a result of unprecedentedly tough negotiations.

Efling refuses to submit electoral roll

State mediator Aðalsteinn Leifsson does not fear that his mediation proposal in the dispute between the Efling Union and SA may have permanently damaged the office’s relationship with the unions – despite the recent condemnations.

“I listen to the comments that are made about my work, but I reiterate my point that I submitted this proposal after careful consideration,” Aðalsteinn told RÚV today.

The proposal puts the same agreement that SA previously agreed upon by other unions to a vote among members of Efling. Efling’s Chair, Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, has repeatedly described it as bad for workers. In order for the state mediator to oversee the vote, he needs an electoral roll (a list of Efling members eligible to vote) – which Efling’s Chair does not intend to hand over.

“By refusing to hand over the electoral roll, Efling is standing in the way of members being able to vote on the proposal. If we do not receive the list, we must explore alternative options,” Aðalsteinn stated.

An “unprecedented” round of negotiations

When Aðalsteinn presented his proposal at a press conference yesterday, he stated that the reason for the proposal was the “unprecedented situation” that had arisen in the negotiations. As noted by RÚV, however, strikes have been employed throughout the years without any attempt to avert them with a mediating proposal.

According to Aðalsteinn, what makes the situation “unprecedented” is not the prospect of strikes, but because of the “unprecedented” nature of the negotiations.

“This dispute stands out in that it has been extremely difficult to get any kind of conversation about possible solutions going,” he concluded.

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