The fighting spirit of Efling members in the coverage area of Efling in Kópavogur, Seltjarnarnes, Mosfellsbær, Hveragerði and Ölfus was on full display during a solidarity rally held by the union in the congregation hall of Digraneskirkja, streamed on the Facebook-site of Efling at 12.30 today. The rally marked the second beginning of strike action against local authorities in a short time period. A break was made in the strike action because of the Covid-19 pandemic on March 25th of this year. The last agreement reached with the members of Efling expired just over a year ago.
During the meeting, Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, the chairman of Efling, reminded those present that the wage raises which the union was seeking were identical to those attained on behalf of the members employed by the City of Reykjavík and the state doing the same work. She said that the local authorities had been disrespectful towards their employees by roundly refusing to give them the same wage raises as these groups.
She saluted her union members for their fighting spirit. “I didn’t know what to expect when a vote on strike action was called once more and felt incredibly proud when I realized that the voter turnout was even higher and even more people voted to strike than the last time around,” she said. A total of 65% of union members in the coverage area voted on the strike call and the actions were approved with 90% of the vote.
The subject of the willingness of Efling to be solution oriented in their talks with the local authorities also came up. She said that an agreement draft was available and that the only thing missing was for SÍS (Icelandic Association of Local Authorities) to be willing to meet the union halfway to resolve the dispute. That SÍS had unfortunately not proved very willing to negotiate and that the chairman of the association had in fact gone so far as to speak of the strike action being declared illegal, although that was hardly practical.
Sólveig Anna concluded by emphasizing the fact that the wage struggle of Efling has yielded results. “The fighting spirit of Efling has brought about a new reality where people can no longer be told to just shut up and keep working. We will use all our resources and the substantial strike funds of Efling to reach our goal. We will not surrender,” she said, as the union members applauded.