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Industrial Workers in Iceland Postpone Strikes

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Industrial Workers in Iceland Postpone Strikes

Restaurant

Restaurants would have had to close as a consequence of the strikes. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

The six-day strike planned by three unions of industrial workers: Rafís, the union for electricians and electronics engineers; Matvís, the union for those working in catering and the food industry; and VM, the Icelandic Union of Marine Engineers and Metal Technicians, which was supposed to start at midnight tonight, has been postponed until midnight June 22.

The decision was made at a meeting between the unions’ delegations and representatives of Business Iceland (SA), the confederation of Icelandic employers, yesterday evening. After more than seven hours of talks, a new wage agreement had been outlined, ruv.is reports.

“You could say that talks have been moving in the right direction, at least to the extent that people are willing to take a closer look at this package,” chair of Rafís Kristján Þórður Snæbjarnarson said of SA’s offer.

Kristján added that single issues still have to be negotiated separately, which will be done in the coming days. “Afterwards, the situation will be evaluated and [it will be decided] whether the package is sufficient.”

The strike among the 6,000 members of the three unions would have had wide-reaching effects, such as on telecommunication, television broadcast, air traffic and the operation of restaurants, which would have to close as a consequence.

Meanwhile, the hope that a consolation committee would bring the strike among nurses and the members of the Association of Academics (BHM), many of whom are healthcare workers, to an end shattered yesterday.

BHM and the Icelandic Nurses’ Association decided to reject the government’s proposition. Instead, the State Negotiator will continue to lead talks between the delegations of the two committees and the Icelandic state. The strike continues.

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