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 the statements of the bosses on certain outlines of their offer. The reason they are giving in is simple: Strikes so far have proven successful at putting the pressure on.
On the morning after the announcement – the morning that strikes were supposed to begin – news reported that Wow air had, after months of agony, gone bankrupt. All flights were cancelled and over one thousand people have lost their jobs.
This is a devastating shock for those concerned, but it does not change the course of our negotiations, which are for the wages and conditions of tens of thousands of workers. People need a living wage, no matter the ever-erupting bubbles, crises and crashes of industry. We have built the economy with our honest work. We have created the boom and the profits. We do not accept that all profits from booms go to the top, while all the responsibility for crashes ends on our shoulders.
Efling presented its demands in October last year. We have been willing to negotiate from the beginning, but it has taken employers until now to start seriously discussing on our terms. This has taken some struggle and strikes, the first strikes of mainly immigrant workers that Iceland has seen. The next hotel and bus driver strikes are scheduled for Wednesday through Friday, April 3-5. Rush-hour strikes in city buses begin on Monday.
The association of employers, who have delayed talks for half a year, now have to take responsibility and hurry up.