Around 1,850 Efling Union members employed by the City of Reykjavík went on strike at 12.30pm today, RÚV reports. It is their third strike action since last week, and the longest yet, set to stand until midnight on Thursday. A contract negotiation meeting between city and union representatives scheduled for yesterday was postponed and is yet to be rescheduled.
The strike actions affect around half of the city’s preschool-attending children, or 3,500, as well as 1,650 individuals who use the Reykjavík’s welfare services. The City’s welfare department received an exception from the strike for the Efling members who perform key services for disabled people and children, as well as services for the elderly both at home and at nursing homes, and emergency services at homeless shelters.
Hjalti J. Guðmundsson, who oversees management and care of city property, says the strike will not affect snow clearing on roads, as that is done by contract workers. It will, on the other hand, affect snow clearing on walking paths and bike lanes. “On bike lanes for example there will be no winter service and on walking paths there will be some reduction. There will also be a reduction [of snow clearing] on lots and that aren’t cleared by contractors, parking lots in front of preschools and primary schools and the like.”
Municipal garbage cans will not be emptied during the strike, nor will garbage be collected from private residences.
Efling workers working for the City of Reykjavík are set to go on strike indefinitely from February 17 if an agreement is not reached.