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Meeting between Icelandic unions and Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise remains inconclusive

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Meeting between Icelandic unions and Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise

The meeting between Icelandic unions and Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise (SA) again failed as they disagreed over its provisions. Two weeks ago similar such meeting was suspended by unions which they called fruitless. It is expected that they will be again meeting today.

Despite Unions agreeing to the demand of SA to a four-year collective agreement the real difference is over Unions calling for adding a clause in return that would give them a way out of the agreement if inflation and interest rate targets are not met. However, SA is not ready to accept any such clause, that is why the negotiations were suspended.

On the issue of salary they have already reached an agreement.

Less than a year ago the last collective agreement negotiations between SA and Efling Union were concluded amidst high tensions. In November the current negotiations started but were subsequently postponed by union leaders due to proposed municipal fee hikes.

The rising prices of goods and services

The fee hikes for public services take effect in Iceland in the month of January. Prices for goods have also been rising alongside high inflation for more than a year.

Amidst the rising high inflation and high interest rates that are impacting Icelandic households Unions have called on businesses and the government to take more concrete action to fight them. This they expect will ease the process of wage negotiations.

Municipalities have increased the fees for some of the services they offer this year. The 2024 budget levy new taxes and adjustments to the existing ones. Tax rates on alcohol and tobacco go up by 3.5 percent. As does the licensing fee for public broadcasting and the tax on gasoline.

The inflation rate in Iceland is nearly 9 percent. The cost of living in personal residences saw a 1.6% increase, while the price of hotel and restaurant services rose by 1.5%.

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