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20 Harpa Employees Quit in Protest

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20 Harpa Employees Quit in Protest

Harpa Concert Hall inside

Photo: Ian Funk.

The majority of Harpa’s customer service representatives resigned from their jobs last night, RÚV reports. The reason is tied to wages: while the group was forced to take a substantial wage cut at the beginning of this year, Harpa’s CEO Svanhildur Konráðsdóttir received a raise.

The customer service representatives met with Harpa’s CEO and CFO last night, and 15 officially resigned from their posts at the end of the meeting, with more joining the group shortly after. The employees released a statement explaining the action last night.

The statement recounts that customer service employees accepted a wage cut in good faith that the organization’s other employees would be receiving one as well. At the meeting, however, Svanhildur confirmed that customer service representatives were the only employees in the organization which were forced to take a direct wage cut shortly after she received a raise. Customer service representatives were already the lowest-paid employees of Harpa preceding the wage cut.

Among the customer service employees who have resigned from the building are many who have worked at Harpa since its opening in 2011 and all shift supervisors. “Resigning from our posts at Harpa is a very big decision,” the statement reads, “as we all care greatly about our work, the hall, and its guests.”

Artists and former employees of Harpa have expressed support for the action. Singer Ellen Kristjánsdóttir has stated she will not sing in Harpa until the situation has been corrected. Icelandic National Broadcasting Service Board Member Lára Hanna Einarsdóttir has also expressed support for the employees.

Svanhildur told RÚV she does not intend to comment on the matter until she has spoken with the chairman of Harpa’s board of executives and other employees of the organization.

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