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Takes Fisherman’s Union to Court for Wrongful Dismissal

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Takes Fisherman’s Union to Court for Wrongful Dismissal

Heiðveig María Einarsdóttir

Photo: A screenshot from RÚV.

Heiðveig María Einarsdóttir has accused the Fisherman’s Union before the labour court for illegally ousting her from the organisation last month, RÚV reports. Heiðveig was dismissed from the union on the basis of working against its interests through her criticism of the union’s board and employees. Heiðveig was campaigning to become the next chairperson of the union and criticises the organisation for a lack of transparency in the election process.

Heiðveig and Bergur Þorkellsson, the Fisherman Union’s treasurer and its next chairman barring Heiðveig’s reinstatement, met on news show Kastljós last night to debate the issue. Heiðveig heavily criticised the Union for unprecedented working practices that do not follow union regulations. “There is no transparency in [the election] process,” she stated, asserting that information about newly established regulations for candidates was not available on the union’s website nor provided to her by its employees, despite repeated requests on her part.

Backed by socialists?

The Fisherman’s Union had established a new rule in December 2017 requiring any candidate for the position of chairperson to have been a member of the organisation for at least three years and have paid all dues. Bergur claims the union’s laws are clear and Heiðveig’s candidacy would have been illegal on that basis. He further asserts that Heiðveig’s campaign was backed by the Socialist Party of Iceland and its founder Gunnar Smári Egilsson.

Heiðveig in turn claimed it was nonsense that she was conspiring with the Socialist Party, as well as an insult to suggest that she couldn’t be passionate about fishermen’s issues and campaign “with different priorities from the current board, and that it can’t be possible that I do that myself, that someone must be backing me.”

Court to decide by December

The labour court has announced a decision will be made in the case before Christmas. Bergur confirmed that if the court decides in Heiðveig’s favour, she will be reinstated as a member of the union. He declined to say whether the organisation would consider revising their election process in such an outcome.

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