Efling-union has decided to revoke all contracts with its members for the rental of the union’s vacation houses from April 6th to May 1st. The union also encourages the owners of privately owned vacation houses to follow its example, shouldering their civic responsibility by following the recommendations of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management and the Director of Health and staying home at Easter.
Efling is the second largest union of the country, with a mandate to negotiate on behalf of almost 26.000 members who work in the public and private sector from the greater Reykjavík area and all the way to Ölfus. A substantial part of the union’s operation since the beginning has been its vacation house rental all over the country, on its own or in collaboration with other unions, as in Ölfusborgir and Svignaskarð.
Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, chairman of Efling, says that the decision was a hard one. “I lament very much the necessity of this decision because I know how much the vacation houses mean to my people, as most workers don’t have access to their own vacation house,” she says. “On the other hand, I see it as our duty to continue to act responsibly in the face of the spread of the corona virus, as we in Efling have done since the first case of it was diagnosed in Iceland. Therefore, we will heed the recommendations of the authorities and revoke the contracts in order to minimize the risk of accidents on the country’s highways and slow the spread of the virus.“
Sólveig Anna calls on the owners of privately owned vacation houses to shoulder their own responsibility and stay at home. “I find it unacceptable that workers and low wage earners be unable to get to vacation houses because of the pandemic while those who earn more can continue to enjoy the comforts of being able to get out of the city. Surely we all intend to come together and follow the recommendations of the authorities and stay home at Easter.“
Efling has sent a message to those members who rented the union’s vacation houses in April, notifying them that the rental agreements will be revoked, due to uncontrollable circumstances. Renters will be refunded and an effort will be made to find ways to grant them access to the union’s vacation houses later this year.