A meeting of the confidential council of Efling was held last night, Thursday, 11th of March, and was well attended. The meeting was conducted via Zoom as in the case of the previous confidential council meetings.
The main subject of the meeting was the so-called Green Paper on Labor-market Affairs, a project started by the government, which contains an attempt to reinstate the ideology of SALEK. During the meeting, Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, chairman of Efling, gave a speech where she spoke of the government’s work on the project and the involvement of ASÍ in it. This project has so far been kept out of public view.
Sólveig Anna covered the history of the SALEK-agreement and the run-up to the work being done on the Green Paper. She levelled harsh criticisms against the government for its work on the project, especially for having linked it with the Quality of Life-Agreements. Sólveig Anna stated that neither she nor the negotiating committee of Efling had at any point been informed of, or consented to, the work on the Green Paper in connection with the Quality of Life-Agreements. She also criticized the ideology behind SALEK and the fact that the previous leadership of ASÍ had approved of it. This ideology is premised on a centralized allocation of wage raises by committees of specialists and the abolition of the rights of unions to bargain independently and go on strike.
Stefán Ólafsson, an expert at Efling, also briefly covered the impact of the SALEK-ideology on wage earners and how such changes would severely curtail their ability to influence their wages.
During talks in small groups after the chairman’s speech, there was unanimous consent for rejecting entirely the so-called Green Paper project. It’s fair to say that the discussion among the attendees was heated and that there was much dissatisfaction with how the government handled this matter.
“The way that the government has tried to sneak the reimplementation of the SALEK-agreement through the back door in the guise of the so-called Green Paper is not acceptable. It is also unacceptable how work on the Green Paper has been linked to the Quality of Life-Agreements. It’s clear that Efling has at no point assented to participation in such work and that the plans of the government for this matter were never presented to Efling. This stipulation was placed on the list of government promises behind our backs during the Quality of Life-Agreements and others must answer for how that happened,” said Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, chairman of Efling.
Sólveig Anna´s Power Point presentation in Icelandic and English here