STRIKES: extensive disruption expected

Hospital staff will be among the strikers.

Hospital staff will be among the strikers. Photo: Eggert Jóhannesson

There appears little hope of a solution being found to avert strike action by thousands of Icelandic civil servants starting at midnight tonight.

A last-ditch attempt to resolve differences will be made at a special meeting convened at 10am this morning, but there appears to be insufficient common ground to expect a breakthrough.

Unions of public servants, nursing assistants and police officers are involved. Strike action is on the cards for the first two of these only, as under Icelandic law police officers do not have the right to strike.

Dates and details

The first wave of strikes is to last 48 hours – from midnight tonight to midnight on Friday – followed by further two-day strikes subsequently if no deal is reached (19-20 and 29-30 October, 2-3 and 12-13 November).

Should there still be no resolution by this stage, the group of over 5,200 members will begin a period of open-ended industrial action beginning Monday 16 November.

The expected disruption from midnight tonight includes:

  • National University Hospital of Iceland – nursing assistants, medical secretaries, office workers, pharmacy technicians and watchmen on strike.
  • Prefectural authorities – Office staff in all prefectural authorities (‘sýslumannsembætti’) on strike. No processing of passports, property registrations, driving licences, etc.
  • Directorate of Internal Revenue (RSK) – RSK offices around the country closed. Disruption in processing of certificates, tax cards, tax returns, etc.
  • Directorate of Customs – No telephone or office service at Reykjavik headquarters and reduced services elsewhere in the country. Many documentation services unavailable.
  • University of Iceland – No tuition (teaching rooms locked).
  • Vínbúðin (alcohol and tobacco) – All branches closed.
  • Primary Health Care Clinics – No phones answered and no new appointments made.




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