Efling’s Negotiations Committee calls for a strike – Statement

Fyrsti hópurinn leggur af stað í verkfallsvörslu hjá borginni

The Confederation of Employers (SA) has shown the utmost disrespect to The Union Alliance and Efling, broken an already-made agreement, and worked against the declared goals of the collective bargaining negotiations. Efling’s bargaining committee unanimously approved a proposal to call a strike at its meeting yesterday. A vote on the proposal amongst Efling members is expected next Monday. It is now in the hands of SA to prevent a strike. Efling’s negotiation committee is ready to meet við representatives of SA, should they have anything to offer in that respect.

At the meeting yesterday, Efling’s Negotiations Committee approved the following statement, which was sent to SA:

Confederation of Employers
Sigríður Margrét Oddsdóttir
General manager

Reykjavík, February 28, 2024

The bargaining committee of Efling – union expresses its disappointment with the impasses that The Confederation of Employers has led the current collective bargaining negotiations into. SA has shown great disrespect to The Union Alliance by breaking an already-made agreement on the wage policy that the agreements were supposed to contain. There was a strong emphasis on the fact that the wage policy would play a big part in supporting the reduction of interest rates and inflation.

The Confederation broke this agreement and thus chose to work against the stated goals of the collective agreement negotiations. SA did this by offering higher paid groups within ASÍ, who had threatened strikes, additions to the percentage wage increases. This was done without discussions with The Union Alliance.

The Confederation also showed the utmost disrespect to Efling by refusing all of the union’s demands for long-overdue adjustments to the provisions of collective agreements. SA has demanded an urgently needed correction of the conditions of cleaners has to be knit with a reduction in wages for other groups of Efling members. This has SA done at the same time as meeting the demands of high-wage groups.

Efling’s negotiation committee considers SA’s conduct particularly sad because Efling has tried to show its will to negotiate throughout all the talks. For example, the negotiating committee has approved very moderate wage increases, to support the goal of lowering interest rates and inflation. Furthermore, Efling has shown its willingness to negotiate in action, by having so far completely avoided raising the issue of a possible strike.

The bargaining committee believes that the only logical response to the situation that has now arisen is to invite Efling members to take a stand on strike action. For those reasons, the negotiation committee has unanimously approved a proposal for a strike call, which will be announced next Friday, with the intention that voting on it will begin among union members on Monday afternoon.

Strikes would begin on March 18, and it would be among cleaners, the group in the Icelandic labor market that lives in the most difficult conditions and that Efling, together with its colleagues in The Union Alliance, has from the beginning focused on fighting for in these negotiations. According to a survey conducted by the union earlier this month, over 80% of Efling members who work as cleaners are ready to support strike action.

The bargaining committee reiterates that it believes that there is a possibility that these strike actions won’t be necessary. SA has it in their hands whether it will happen or not.

If SA has something to present that it believes is relevant to Efling members, the negotiation committee is prepared to meet with their representatives. After that meeting, the negotiation committee will assess whether there is a reason to postpone preparations for strike actions.

B.h. negotiation committee of Efling


Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir

chairman of Efling – union