Full text: Iceland 1930

Organized associations of workmen for the promotion of common 
interests are of a very late date in Iceland, and it was not till 1894 
that the first society of this kind came into being, when the Sailors’ 
Union was formed by deep-sea fishermen. During the first ten years 
the movement made but slow progress and was exclusively confined 
to Reykjavik. In 1897 the Printers’ Trade Union was formed, fol- 
lowed, in 1906, by the combinalion of unskilled workers. Since then 
development has been more rapid, and in 1916 was established the 
Federation of Labour Unions (Althydusamband [slands), which at pre- 
sent comprises 22 organizations of unskilled workers, 5 Sailors’ Uni- 
ons, 3 trade unions, and 6 socialist bodies (political), 36 unions in all 
with a total of about 5600 members (4900 males and 700 females), 
Until quite recently, there have been no permanent employers’ or- 
ganizations except among ship owners, the first being formed in 1894 
by owners of decked fishing vessels. But this society was dissolved 
when the smacks began to be replaced by steam trawlers, and in 1916 
was formed the Steam Trawler Owner Association (Félag islenzkra 
botnvdrpuskipaeigenda) which is the most important employers’ organi- 
zation in the country. A few employers’ organizations have been started 
(e. g. owners of printing establishments, bakeries, long-liners etc.), but 
as yet there is no general federation of Icelandic employers. . 
Strikes and lock-outs have been very rare in Iceland. But after 
prices began to increase during the Great War, these weapons have 
a few times been resorted to in wage disputes. The central authori- 
ties have taken no action in connexion with these quarrels, except 
that a bill was passed by Althingi in 1915 forbidding State officials 
to strike. On rare occasions, too, the government has tried mediation 
in labour disputes; but as these have during the last few years grown 
more frequent and violent in character, another bill was passed in

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