Iceland - Migrant workers exploited at guesthouse - January 31, 2016

Polish workers at a south Iceland guesthouse were subjected to exploitation that is tantamount to human trafficking, according to trade union officials. Two Polish women in their thirties came to Iceland in July 2014 and soon thereafter started working at the guesthouse. The mistreatment they received is now considered a gross violation of the collective bargaining agreement for workers in this industry, and the matter is with the police. The two women, who were unaware of their labour rights and not informed by their employer, were made to work 10 hours per day, seven days a week, for a salary far under the legal minimum wage for such work. The guesthouse owner urged them to not get a personal identification number, as required by law, telling them that to do so would result in their wages being taxed. The women reported the subject to the trade union and the officials filed immediately charges with the police.


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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