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Workers at nursing homes go on strike

Icelandic Broadcasting Service, RÚV, reports that unskilled workers at several nursing homes went on a 24 hour strike at midnight.

The staff are protesting low wages and heavy workload. They intend to demonstrate at the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, today at 1 pm.

RÚV quotes Erla Elín Hansdóttir, a family member of a nursing home patient, saying that she will be forced to take two days off from work to attend to her relative.

Erla Elín says the relevant authorities treat both the staff and the patients poorly. She says that the staff can not be blamed because they are not being paid decent wages.

During the strike, patients will be fed and helped to the toilet, but no other services will be provided.

The minister of health and insurance, Siv Fridleifsdóttir, said to RÚV that her ministry did not have the power to negotiate salaries and other terms of employment with the employees of the nursing homes.

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