There were heated discussions in Sólveig Anna and Ragnar Ólason’s visit to the neighbourhood upkeep centre in Njarðargata yesterday. The centre was one of the workplaces where Reykjavík city trialled a shorter working week. People here were very happy with it and agreed that the measure was very successful and important to them. They reported their satisfaction in survey after survey, which the city administration made them answer both before and during the trial. The results have been presented in the city’s report on the project, and can be seen in this post.
Despite this happy result, Reykjavík city has chosen to abolish the shorter working week cold turkey, with no compensating measures.
This goes straight against the wishes of the participants. In our meeting, staff said they wanted their voices to be heard and for them to be taken seriously when decisions of this sort are taken. The shorter working week improved their wellbeing. Now that it has been taken away, they are hearing nothing at all from the city. Nobody is sending them surveys now to discover their level of satisfaction. The results of earlier surveys, showing great happiness with the change, are completely disregarded. The workers ask: why were they trialling this project at all? Was it just a political game by the powerful, which was never meant to improve the lives of working people?
The message of Efling workers to the city are clear. We want a fair hearing at the negotiating table, we want better conditions at work, and we are prepared for action to have our demands met.