Last-Minute Deal Averts Strike At Rio Tinto’s Straumsvík Aluminium Smelter

Last-Minute Deal Averts Strike At Rio Tinto’s Straumsvík Aluminium Smelter

Labor narrowly averted a strike at Rio Tinto’s Straumsvík aluminium smelter last week after the five unions and the SA Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise hammered out an agreement in an all-night meeting.

With a strike scheduled for 8 AM the next day, union representatives came to an agreement to postpone the work shutdown. The plant’s labor force of about 400 has been working without a contract since the first part of July.

Smelter staff unions’ head representative Reinhold Richter elaborated on the state of contract discussions to domestic media.

“We sat in a meeting until almost 2 AM. We reached a certain agreement to continue the talks, which led to us postponing the strike scheduled for tomorrow, Friday. And our goal is to finish the talks soon.”

He continued by saying the parties will again meet with the State Conciliation and Mediation Officer (SCMO) on Thursday. Though unable to elaborate on the state of the agreement’s progress, he was hopeful that the talks would end with an agreement.

“We have a foundation to build on. A binding agreement on certain things we like,” Richter said. “Yes, I think so. I still have to introduce this to my people, and that’s my next step.”

The strike was initially planned for the week prior, but was postponed until last Friday.