Two major labour unions have decided to spilt from their union federation in Iceland’s upcoming wage negotiation, RÚV reports. The Federation of General and Special Workers (SGS) will no longer be negotiating on behalf of Efling and Verkalýðsfélag Akraness in upcoming wage talks after the two unions decided to pull out of their agreement with the federation.
Straight to mediation
Efling and Verkalýðsfélag Akraness are members of SGS, a union federation built up of 19 trade unions. The two unions had previously given SGS authority to negotiate on their members’ behalf in upcoming wage negotiations. Efling’s negotiation committee decided last night to revoke its agreement with SGS after the federation refused to refer wage negotiations to the State Conciliation and Mediation Officer immediately. Verkalýðshfélag Akraness followed suit shortly afterward.
More radical stance
Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, chairperson of Efling, stated the union takes a more radical stance toward the upcoming wage negotiations than SGS’s negotiation leaders. Efling intends to refer the negotiations immediately to the State Conciliation and Mediation Officer rather than attempt direct negotiations with employers first.
Closer collaboration in the upcoming negotiations between Efling, Verkalýðsfélag Akraness, and VR Union, which is not a member of SGS, appears likely. Both Sólveig Anna and VR Union’s chairman Ragnar Þór Ingólfsson have stated they welcome closer collaboration between their organisations. Verkalýðsfélag Akraness’ chairman Vilhjálmur Birgisson has stated that if VR and Efling refer the negotiations directly to mediation, his union would likely do so as well.