Nearly 500 Efling Union members signed a letter requesting the union hold a general meeting this Friday, Vísir reports. The letter was delivered to Efling’s board yesterday. The union’s chairperson Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir has received harsh criticism for laying off all of the union’s 40-odd staff members last week.
Sólveig Anna responded to the letter in an email to the union’s members, where she stated that the board would decide on a time and place for the meeting and asks members to stay tuned. The union’s deputy chair Agnieszka Ewa Ziólkowska told Vísir she doubts Sólveig Anna will grant the request and harshly criticised her recent actions.
In the email, Sólveig Anna also wrote that few of Efling’s employees showed up to work yesterday and asked members for their understanding if services were delayed. In the letter of dismissal sent to Efling staff, they were asked to work through their period of notice, but media has reported that few staff members have been coming to work since they were laid off.
One third of Efling’s members are Polish. One former employee of the union, Vala Árnadóttir, criticised the fact Sólveig’s email was sent out only in Icelandic and English, as the union has sent out all notices in Icelandic, English, and Polish over the past four years.
Sólveig Anna has stated that the dismissals were necessary to ensure equality and transparency in employee wages. The decision has been harshly criticised by other leaders within the labour movement as well as by Efling staff themselves and the broader community. Sólveig Anna resigned as chair of Efling last October, in the wake of allegations of bullying within the Efling office. She was re-elected as chair last February.