Greenland strike called off
SIKU CIRCUMPOLAR NEWS SERVICE
The Greenland home rule government and the SIK workers’ union came to a compromise this past weekend on wages for the next two years, narrowly averting a strike.
On June 17, Greenland would have been hit by a general strike in the public sector, just as its tourist season was about to start.
All flights in and out of the country would have been affected and some 6,500 secretaries, medical secretaries, child care workers, interpreters and food industry staff would have gone on strike, crippling business and services.
SIK had demanded a wage increase of approximately 10 per cent over the next three years. The government offered 6.5 per cent, which SIK maintained was too little compared to the rapidly increasing cost of living.
SIK members will receive eight per cent more in wages and pension over the next three years.
The deal will cost the home rule government nine million Danish krøners more than its original offer.
SIK’s president, Jess. G. Berthelsen, said he was satisfied with the result.
“The government members gave us a hard time, but we met on the middle, if you can’t get the best, you have to choose the next best,” Berthelsen told Greenland Radio News on Saturday.
Wage increases for SIK members in the past have averaged around 2.5 per cent, although members of Greenland’s parliament recently supported a bill that, if approved next autumn, will offer MLAs a substantial pay hike.