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Workers’ strike ends in agreement on wage hike

News broke Sunday afternoon of a resolution, at last, to the dispute in the Faroese labor market after almost a month of workers’ strike. Continuous mediation efforts behind the scenes during the weekend resulted in a breakthrough that saw the signing of a new agreement between five workers’ unions and the Employers’ Association early Sunday evening, immediately putting an end to strike that began on May 14th.

According to news reports, the parties agreed on a two-year contract which, amongst other things, grants the workers an hourly wage increase by a total of 16,80 DKK (2.25 EUR) over two years, a 13-percent increase over that period.

“After four weeks of strike, the time has come to get the country going again,” a joint statement read from the five unions that had been on strike—Føroya Arbeiðarafelag, Havnar Arbeiðarafelag, Havnar Arbeiðskvinnufelag, Klaksvíkar Arbeiðskvinnufelag, and Klaksvíkar Arbeiðsmannafelag. “The strike put a lot of pressure on society, and we deeply appreciate the great support we received.”

On the other hand, according to the representative of the Employers’ Association, Niels Winther, the agreement is an expensive one and “will doubtlessly cost jobs.”

For now, however, a palpable sigh of relief—things can finally get back to normal. There is clearly some backlog in everything from filling grocery shelves to collecting garbage; hopefully, the wheels of transport and trade will be rolling again in short order.


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