Imminent general strike: the impact

Is Iceland facing a general strike?

Is Iceland facing a general strike? Photo: Hilm­ar Jóns­son

If a resolution is not found to the various collective wage agreement disputes currently dominating the news, there could be tens of thousands on strike in Iceland by early June.

Today’s Morgunblaðið has put together a summary of the various strikes and their potential impact. This information is outlined below.

Ongoing and planned strike action

  • Some members of the Icelandic Association of Academics (BHM) – including vets, radiologists, laboratory technicians, midwives and district lawyers – have been on strike since 20 April.
  • Members of the Icelandic Professional Trade Association (SGS) will be holding a two-day strike next Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by an indefinite strike from 26 May.
  • Members of the Icelandic Nurse’s Association will be starting indefinite strike action from 27 May.
  • The Icelandic Union of Commercial and Office Workers (VR), the Commercial Federation of Iceland (LÍV) and Flóabandalagið (an umbrella union including catering workers, factory workers, labourers, seamen, etc.) will undertake sporadic industrial action between 28 May and 3 June, followed by a full general strike from 6 June.

Impact of a general strike

In the event of a general strike, the following areas could be disrupted or paralysed:

  • International and domestic flights
  • Land and sea transport
  • Passenger transport
  • Hotels and catering
  • Manned petrol stations
  • Food production and retail
  • Non-food retail
  • Hospitals and health care
  • Residential homes
  • Abattoirs and meat production
  • Fish processing and landing
  • Industrial production
  • Media
  • Newspaper distribution

This list is not exhaustive.

Related article:

40% of Iceland on strike by June

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