Drífa Snædal, General Secretary of the Federation of General and Special Workers, has been elected as the first woman president of the Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASÍ), RÚV reports. An organization of 48 trade unions representing workers throughout the country—including office and retail employees, seamen, construction and industrial workers, electricians, and others, ASÍ was founded in 1916. This is the first time in ASÍ’s history that a woman has been president.
The election took place on Friday morning. Drífa received 192 of the 292 votes cast, or 65.8%. Her opponent Sverrir Mar Albertsson, the general manager of Afl, the Union of General and Special Workers in East Iceland, received 100 votes, or 34.2%.
Drífa is a 45 and holds a degree in business administration from the University of Iceland as well as a Master’s degree in labour market studies and labour rights from Lund University in Sweden. Before 2012, when she took her position with the Federation of General and Special Workers, she worked as the managing director of the Left-Green party as well as the Kvennaathvarfið Women’s Shelter.
Drífa said that she looked forward to working with her opponent for the greater good of all members of ASÍ, and made a particular point of recognizing the women who paved the way for her success today. “When a woman is elected president for the first time in the 102-year history of the collective, then I owe a debt of thanks to women’s struggle over the years because the fact that I’m standing here is thanks to them.”