Meeting requested with SA at state mediator office over noncompliance

Efling has demanded a meeting with Halldór Benjamín Þorbergsson, the director of the business cartel, SA, in the offices of the state mediator, due to noncompliance with the new collective agreements. The case arose after the mass termination of wage terms by Árni Valur Sólonsson, a hotel manager, immediately after new agreements went into force. In the letter of termination this is said to be “with the aim of reducing labour costs”, due to “foreseeable Read more…

From the new agreements: New rules on interpretation

Half of the Efling membership is from abroad. They often work under the management of Icelanders who prefer to speak with staff in Icelandic. “We have seen how very important information gets communicated to staff in a language they simply don’t understand,” says Viðar Þorsteinsson, managing director of Efling. “This winter we attended a staff meeting where a high-level manager announced a mass layoff in Icelandic, which nearly everyone in the room didn’t understand. The Read more…

Union reps out of chains: From the new agreements

In Iceland, many hotels and restaurants are run by conglomerates and chains. These companies keep the tourist economy going, but they themselves are kept going by mostly foreign labour. They also have rapid turnover of staff. In these conditions, having solid union representation is very important. However, these are also the places where it’s often proven the hardest to get union reps elected. Some of these businesses see the whole chain as a single “workplace”, Read more…

Menn í vinnu: Wage claims, a fine and another mutation

Before Easter, the legal office Réttur sent letters to companies which rented workers from the temp agency Menn í vinnu this winter. In the letter, it is made clear that, due to laws on chain responsibility, they are liable for their workers’ unpaid wages, even if their work is bought through a temp agency. “What we’re hoping is that these companies take care, in future, that their employees from temp agencies get correct pay and Read more…

SGS-SA collective agreement accepted

All member unions of SGS accepted the new collective agreement with the business cartel, SA, in a vote that concluded yesterday. Most did so with a sizable majority. Amongst Efling members, 77% voted yes and 2.3% abstained. In total, 19 thousand people were on the Efling voting registry. The agreement applies to general workers in sectors such as construction, transportation, road construction, dock work, agriculture, mechanical work and in hotels and restaurants. You can read Read more…

Summary of the new agreements

A new collective agreement for private market workers in Efling has been signed, lasting for 3 years and 8 months. It includes significant input from the government, and adds disposable income from several sources. It will be effective as of April 1, 2019. A vote on the agreement will take place very soon. Here’s an overview of the main items. Raises Wages will rise every year, from April 1, 2019 to the contract’s end in Read more…

A message from Kynnisferðir strætó drivers

Dear passengers! We, the drivers at Almenningsvagnar Kynnisferða, gladly drive you to work, school, or wherever you want to take the bus. We are responsible for your safety, but we are only paid the minimum wage. To get a living wage, we have to work many overtime hours. This means we may be tired and unfocused at work. In our jobs, we‘re not just drivers. We are also clerks, janitors, info-centres, ticket controllers, security guards Read more…

What’s going on with the strikes?

On Wednesday evening, strikes in hotels and bus companies were called off with just a few hours’ notice. They were scheduled to start at midnight and last through Thursday and Friday. The reason for the strikes being called off was that, after six months of negotiations and two single-day strike actions by Efling, the employers’ cartel has finally presented a serious basis for talks, which is now being discussed. Nothing has been signed yet, except Read more…

On the mass layoffs of Kynnisferðir

Efling regrets the mass layoffs of 59 workers at Kynnisferðir. The bulk of them are bus drivers who work under the Efling collective agreement. The union has kept a close eye on how the case proceeds and taken care that the rights of the union’s members are upheld, such as their rights to union activism. Union members have precedence to the jobs, which means they can not be laid off before other staff in the Read more…