The Board of Efling Declares No Confidence in State Mediator

The board of Efling approved the following statement during its meeting today January 26 regarding the so-called mediation proposal of the State Mediator:

The board of Efling condemns the methods of the State Mediator in the ongoing collective bargaining of the union with SA (Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise). The State Mediator has not shown the slightest interest in getting to know, analysing, or acknowledging the meticulous arguments of Efling´s negotiations committee which are based of facts and data about Efling members and their situation.

The total negligence of the State Mediator in not considering the arguments of the negotiations committee of Efling is now obvious to the public in the mediation proposal that he put forward this morning. The mediation proposal forces the collective agreement of SGS and SA on Efling, despite repeated attempts of the Efling negotiations committee at reasonable explanations of the fact that the contract does not meet the needs of Efling members and does not take their situation into consideration. The contract that the State Mediator means to force on Efling members would have the consequence that large groups of members would get up to 20 thousand kr. lower salary increases than members of the SGS unions.

The State Mediator has made an aggressive attempt at depriving Efling, the largest union of low wage workers in Iceland, of its independent right to bargain for a contract. The board of Efling considers the mediation proposal that he presented to be illegitimate. The State Mediator made no attempt to discuss the proposal with the chairman or negotiations committee. The chairman of Efling simply got the proposal handed to her about one hour before the State Mediator held a special press conference about it.

The State Mediator has with his methods not only disregarded all traditions of communication with the opposing parties of the labour market and damaged the reputation of the State Mediators’ office, but also broken the clause of the law on unions and labour market disputes nr. 80 from 1938 where it is stated clearly that the parties of the dispute should be consulted and they should get the opportunity to comment when the last resort of a mediation proposal is used.

Considering the above mentioned the board of Efling declares no confidence in the State Mediator.