The Union Alliance  declares negotiations as fruitless

The Union Alliance, a broad coalition of the largest national confederations and unions in the general labor market, today declared negotiations with the Confederation of Employers (SA) ineffective. The stumbling block is a precondition for the development of inflation and interest rates. SA have completely rejected that in a four-year contract there will be prerequisite clauses to protect workers if targets regarding inflation and growth will not be achieved.

All long-term collective agreements in recent decades have been signed with prerequisite clauses that allow termination of contracts under certain conditions. SA’s demand for the removal of such prerequisite clauses in the upcoming collective agreement is unheard of in collective bargaining in Iceland.

SA’s demand would mean that workers alone bear the responsibility and risk of the consequences if the goals of the agreement are not achieved.

It is baffling that SA is not prepared to enshrine in a long-term agreement the goals that the organization itself has repeatedly stated as its absolute main goal: to bring down inflation and interest rates. If the main objective of a collective agreement is not achieved, protections must be in place for workers.

The Union Alliance expresses its deep disappointment that SA chooses to sail the negotiations to shore based on this issue. It is especially sad in view of the fact that the parties have put a lot of effort into reaching an agreement on modest salary increases and an agreement regarding salary is essentially ready. The signing of a collective agreement was in sight.

The Union Alliance stands united in its demands and in its decision to declare talks ineffective. The chairmen of the unions and associations that form the Union Allianc will meet as soon as Monday and use the time in the meantime to provide information and consult with their members.

On behalf of the Union Alliance

Eiður Stefánsson, chairman of the negotiation committee of Landssamband íslenzkra verzlunarmanna

Hilmar Harðarson, chairman of Samiðn – samband iðnfélaga

Ragnar Þór Ingólfsson, chairman of VR

Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, chairman of Efling stéttarfélag

Vilhjálmur Birgisson, chairman of Starfsgreinasamband Íslands