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Workers Fired after Complaining

Eight people who held cleaning jobs at apartments rented out by a hotel were fired after insisting that they get their own restroom facilities. The hotel owner admits to having bent the rules for eleven years.

The company Stay Apartments offers tourists apartments for rent at several locations in Reykjavík, most of which are in Einholt. The workers it hired to clean the apartments complained about a lack of facilities. “There are no quarters [for workers]. There was no easy access to a restroom, no place to have coffee, just nothing. There was a small room where buckets and toilet paper and such were stored and where we could hang up our jackets,” stated Ragnhildur Jóhannsdóttir, one of the workers.

The hotel owner claims he tried to respond to complaints. “We sought solutions and I was looking at housing nearby, which would have worked, but I worried it would hardly be used,” he told RÚV.

A regulation of the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health requires that, “there be easy access to a toilet and restroom, but not directly connected to a dining hall or work area.”

The hotel owner, when asked about restroom facilities for workers, answered, “It’s easy. There are restrooms in all the apartments they clean. Yes, I know it’s not what the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health requires, and I confess that I have bent that rule, and all my employees have bent that rule, for 11 years.

Ragnhildur states that when a meeting was called, where she thought the issue would be discussed, all the cleaning staff received the pink slip.

The hotel owner admits he rushed to sign a deal with a cleaning contractor, which for him is more economical than having his own cleaning staff.

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