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Union Demands Revision to Gendered Dress Code

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Union Demands Revision to Gendered Dress Code

Photo: Hard Rock Cafe Reykjavík / Facebook

The Efling labor union has sent a letter to the management of the Hard Rock Cafe on Lækjargata in downtown Reykjavík, demanding an immediate resolution to issues related to the uniforms that female employees are required to wear, Vísir reports. The letter was sent after the union received complaints from female employees who are required to wear a skirt at work, in lieu of the shirt and pants that their male counterparts wear.

Stefán Magnússon, the managing director of the Hard Rock Cafe in Iceland, told the news outlet DV that the restaurant’s uniform requirements are standard at Hard Rock Cafe locations worldwide. He said that he’d received an exemption from the corporate headquarters allowing female employees to wear pants or tights under the skirts, given Iceland’s cold climate.

Female employees are nevertheless unhappy with the current uniform requirements, Leifur Gunnarsson, an Efling lawyer, said. They want to be able to wear pants like their male counterparts, saying that the skirts are both tasteless and uncomfortable.

Leifur’s letter to Hard Rock Cafe reiterates that gender equality between men and women must be safeguarded on the labor market and that the current uniform requirements do not reflect current equality standards. The letter continues that staff wishes regarding uniforms should be taken into account and respected.

Efling’s decision to pursue this issue was welcomed by the Federation of General and Special Workers in Iceland. “It’s great that Efling is intervening in this issue,” wrote managing director Drífa Snædal in a post on Facebook. “It’s unbearable when this kind of Stone Age thinking starts to crop up, and in such glaring opposition to all talk about equality and respect.”

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