Efling has tasked the lawyer Ragnar Aðalsteinsson with protecting the interests of 18 workers at the temp agency Menn í vinnu.
Ragnar and other lawyers at the legal office Réttur – Aðalsteinsson & Partners have been authorized to collect unpaid wages and other claims, gather data on the case and to demand a public investigation on possible criminal activity by the agency Menn í vinnu, and, as the case may be, to sue the company.
On February 7, news reports told of the awful conditions of a large number of Romanian workers at the temp agency Menn í vinnu. The men told stories of unpaid working hours, cramped living conditions in illegal housing and of large sums that were deducted from their wages for the accommodation.
Representatives of Efling and ASÍ inspected the situation of the men in question and activated the response team for subjects of human trafficking. Staff of the grievance division of Efling have met with the men and collected data on their cases. Due to suspicions of extensive criminal activity and possible human trafficking, the case was transferred to the legal offices of Réttur.
Efling has long fought against repeated breaches of the collective agreements, committed under the veil of obscure contractual arrangements and the hiring out of staff, sheltered by the lack of fines for breaching the collective agreements. In the demands of Efling, written by members last fall, the point was made that fines should be collected in cases of serious breaches.
Viðar Þorsteinsson, managing director of Efling, says that it is unacceptable for these cases to come up again and again, often around the same individuals, sheltered by the creation of a new company under a new kennitala.
“The grievance division and lawyers of Efling have managed to collect wage claims from these agencies with some success. What we are seeing now are more innovative methods, often by the same individuals, for cheating and fleecing people, by evading laws and regulations. This calls for new legal responses, and our cooperation with Réttur is an example of that. We are very happy that Ragnar Aðalsteinsson and Réttur have agreed to take this case up.”