Important info about the lockout

Today, Efling published a full page ad in Fréttablaðið with important information for the union’s members, their employers and the general public. It says the following:

SA have called an indefinite lockout on Efling members in the private sector which is to begin at noon on Thursday, March 2.

Information from SA on the lockout has been unclear and misleading. They have provided no information on which companies and institutions are affected by the lockouts. There have been reports that SA will provide extensive, but nonspecific, exemptions for jobs connected to certain kinds of operations. SA seems to leave it to each company to decide on its own whether the lockout applies to them.

In light of this, Efling wants to say this to its members, to employers and to the general public:

  • Companies have no duty to withhold their workers’ wages, even if they send workers home during a lockout. It is the choice of each and every employer whether to pay wages, should they participate in the lockout.
  • A boss who decides to lock workers out has a duty to provide their workers with clear information in writing about if and how they will withhold wages from their workers. This information should be provided well in advance.
  • It is each employer’s duty to inform the relevant workers, union reps and, as the case may be, representatives of their staff according to laws no. 151/2006 about the following:
    • If and how a lockout will happen in the workplace.
    • Whether the employer will withhold wages and/or other payments to workers during the lockout.
    • If and how the lockout will affect other rights the workers have based on their job contract, such as vacation rights, sick days and pensions.
  • Employers are reminded that they are not allowed to let their remaining staff do the work of those sent home during a lockout.
  • An employer is responsible for all damages incurred due to a lockout if it proves to be illegal, including losses incurred by staff.
  • An employer is responsible for all damages incurred by their negotiation partners, if their failure to fulfil obligations is due to a lockout that proves to be illegal.