Iceland - Aluminium smelter strike cancelled - December 31, 2015

December 2, 2015

The strike at Rio Tinto’s aluminium smelter in Straumsvík planned for 2 December was cancelled. Still, no agreement has been reached between the negotiating parties. Employees of the smelter are very unhappy with the decision and are considering resigning. A statement from the negotiating committee claims there is no point in striking in light of repeated threats from management that the aluminium smelter would then be closed. According to the statement, employees had requested a pay raise comparable to what other workers in the labour market have received lately. The negotiating committee claims Rio Tinto’s actual intentions are unclear, but the unions suspect the company’s goal is either to reach some sort of negotiating position with Icelandic authorities or to avoid responsibility for its decisions regarding the future of the smelter.


For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) or the communications officer at the ETUI, Mariya Nikolova For previous issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit You may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at

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