Efling Rejects the Coercive Methods of the State Mediator

Today Efling – Union received a call to the Reykjavík district court which is to address a request from the State Mediator Aðalsteinn Leifsson. The request demands that Efling should provide its electoral register to be used in the referendum on the so-called mediation proposal that Aðalsteinn has put forward.

Efling has declared that the State Mediator´s mediation proposal lacks legitimacy and is meaningless. Efling considers the State Mediator to have misused the power of his office and sacrificed the neutrality which is the basis of the credibility of his office. On these grounds the board of Efling has declared no confidence in the State Mediator.

All of the biggest organizations of labour in Iceland have also criticized the mediation proposal and the methods of the State Mediator.

It is the assessment of Efling that it cannot be considered a mediation proposal when the wishes of one party in a labour dispute are put forward without any changes and the point of view of the other party is completely ignored.

The impertinence of the State Meditor´s office in working on behalf of the employers and forcing their will on low wage workers, at the expense of their independent and legally protected right to negotiate, is unheard of in the communication of the parties of the labour market in Iceland.

According to art. 27 of the laws on unions and labour market disputes 80/1938 the State Mediator is to consult with the negotiations committees of both parties before putting forward his mediation proposal. In art. 28 it is stated that the disputing parties have the right to comment on the proposal. In the meeting with the chairman and staff of the Efling negotiations committee last Thursday morning Aðalsteinn Leifsson handed them his finished mediation proposal, and had by that point already called for a press conference at 11am. Aðalsteinn never meant to consult with Efling or give the union a chance of commenting, which is a breach of the law and it also reveals that the so-called mediation proposal is a biased and one sided coercive action.

By putting forward the above mentioned request to the court instead of having the courtesy of correcting his obvious mistake the office of the State Mediator has chosen to sink deeper into the quagmire of his own arrogance. Efling will stand against the lawlessness and intrusion of the office of the State Meditator with full force and protect the right of workers to negotiate.