Ragnar Þór Ingólfsson, chairperson of VR, has stated that for the time being, VR’s position within ASÍ will remain unchanged.
VR is Iceland’s largest trade union, representing some 40,000 workers. There have however been suggestions recently that VR will leave ASÍ, or the Federation of Labour. ASÍ, founded in 1916, is the largest federation of trade unions in Iceland and has historically played an important role in labour organisation in Iceland.
However, the most recent ASÍ conference over contract negotiations has proved a turbulent one, with many major trade unions suggesting that they go their separate ways in the future.
The upheavals come in the wake of Drífa Snædal’s resignation earlier this year from her leadership position in ASÍ. Citing political hostility, she said that it was no longer possible to perform her duties in her resignation letter. Since her resignation, ASÍ leadership has been in turmoil, with some of Iceland’s largest trade unions considering leaving during ASÍ’s 45th conference.
Ragnar Þór also withdrew his candidacy for ASÍ leadership at the conference, citing the possibility of a break with the federation. Now, at least for the time being, it seems that VR will remain with ASÍ.
The announcement came today before a formal meeting with SA, Iceland’s leading employers’ union.
In a statement from Ragnar Þór, he said that all of the union’s efforts will now be directed towards the wage negotiations with SA.
Regarding the future, however, Ragnar Þór emphasised that nothing can be ruled out.