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Strikes, Pizza and Coke (JB)

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Júlíana Björnsdóttir's picture

The wave of strikes, which took me by surprise, has left me worried.

I have a flight booked on June 11 to meet my husband in Greece for a holiday. It’s a holiday I’ve been looking forward to from the moment we decided to go—one that we have dreamt of doing together since we first met.

BHM, the Association of Academics, including midwives, lawyers and a number of other university-educated professions, has been striking for nine weeks now. Recently, nurses joined them.

To my great relief, my union managed to negotiate in time for a strike, which would have affected air traffic, among other areas.

Now electric technicians and two other unions are set to go on strike for six days, starting at midnight tomorrow, which may also affect flights.

This second round of stressing while trying to decide whether to change my booked flights did me no favors.

I love traveling, so normally catching an earlier flight wouldn’t have derailed me in any way. Changing plans last minute can be adventurous—but also expensive.

Also, it doesn’t fit in with being a dog mama. I wanted to spend all Wednesday with my sweet Labrador Retriever Emma and had planned a little birthday gathering for her tomorrow with all her friends.

Even though all parties involved in the wage dispute seem certain that the strike will not disturb air traffic in any major way I am still somewhat concerned.

I’ve spent the entire weekend trying to find out what my rights are if my flight is severely delayed or canceled as a consequence of the strike and if I have to book an earlier flight. Will I be compensated?

I honestly don’t know but I have certainly got a backup plan.

I doubt that I’m the only one in need for further reassurance and would like to urge all parties involved to sit down and find a solution to prevents this society from becoming more paralyzed than it already is in a number of ways.

If the latest strike goes through, restaurants won’t be open as chefs are among those striking. Telecommunication may be disrupted too, which is bad news considering our reliance on mobile phones and the great World Wide Web. What will we do?

Then it’s the electricians. What if equipment breaks down in one of the hospitals where the operations have already been disrupted with nurses, midwives and other medical professionals on strike?

And finally, how long will it take the tourism industry to recover its reputation after this wave of strikes? It takes less time to lose trust than it takes to build a good reputation.

In times like these, information is vital and in my opinion the public has not been informed efficiently enough; information regarding the strikes and their effects has been a little scattered, inaccessible, and sometimes even contrasting.

That leaves us all a lot more confused.

All efforts must be made to find a fair solution and that in time to prevent chaos. I agree that the salaries of industrial workers should be raised.

What happens next, I cannot tell you. I just hope for the best while indulging in a delicious pizza and coke for dinner to momentarily escape my concerns.

After all, what else is there to do in this state of worrying?

Júlíana Björnsdóttir – julianabjornsdottir(at)gmail.com

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.