Delegate Council resolution on the Independence Party bill concerning freedom of association

The following resolution was proposed and approved in the meeting of the Efling Delegate Council on October 20 2022:

The Delegate Council of Efling Union applauds the concern of the MPs of the Independence Party when it comes to human rights and democracy. This concern can be witnessed by their recent parliamentary bill on freedom of association in the labor market.

The Delegate Council encourages the MPs of the Independence Party to familiarize themselves with the workings of the Icelandic pension fund system. This system is based on mandatory membership, where law requires that at least 12% of all workers’ salaries be paid as premium to pension funds. It can be punishable by fines and imprisonment not to pay the premium.

When the premium has been paid, it falls under the control of individual funds, where the democratic say of fund members is nonexistent. They have the opportunity to choose, through the intermediary of a representative council, half of board members whereas the other half is chosen on whim by owners of Icelandic companies. With this arrangement, it is guaranteed that fund members have no influence on the use of the money that they are nevertheless forced by law to pay. This is a flagrant violation of freedom of association, human rights, and the principles of democracy.

The Delegate Council of Efling Union rests assured that the MPs of the Independence Party will in the near future propose a bill where mandatory membership of pension funds will either be abolished or made conditional on normal democracy in the handling of the money which fund members are forced by law to pay to them.