Icelandic news translated into English

October 31, 2008

“Horrific situation”

Filed under: jobs — newsfrettir @ 8:10 pm
Tags: , ,

By Skapti Hallgrímsson

Around 100 people in Akureyri have received their notice to quit, or will receive it today, all of which in construction industry, carpenters, painters and plumbers.

“This situation is horrific,” said Heimir Kristinsson, president of the union of construction labour in Eyjafjordur to Morgunblaðið yesterday. Half of the 100 that are spoken of here are in the union, others are not educated in the profession and therefor in another union.

Heimir says that most of the big construction companies in Akureyri have resigned all overtime the last two weeks so you can say that these reductions are the second mass lay offs in a very short period of time”. Most of them have a 3 month notice, says Heimir.

He has spoken with many tradesmen this week. “Single workers or men who work two together in projects are not in these numbers of lay offs, men dont lay themselves off eaven though they are basicly out of work. But men wonder alot if they should return their VAT numbers and sign themselves in the unemployement agency.”

Heimir says the situation has changed dramatically in a very short time. “Companies who just recently were fully booked with projects till 2010 can only see two weeks ahead. The projects are just falling away from them.”

(News Article by *Skapti Hallgrímsson*)
Original Article in Icelandic

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Over 71 thousand signatures

Filed under: Uncategorized — newsfrettir @ 7:05 pm
Tags: , , ,

Signatures on the website are now past 71 thousand but the website has only been open for a little over a week. The signatures are collected to protest the unfair treatment the british government is giving the Iceandic public.

This week they also opened a phone station in the old Morgunblað house in Aðalstræti where people can come in and call their friends overseas for free. They also opened a photo exhibition, which shows pictures of Icelandic “terrorists”.

(News Article by *noname*)
Original Article in Icelandic

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63 have been laid off in Akranes

Filed under: economy,families,jobs — newsfrettir @ 6:00 pm

The office of the Labour Union of Akranes has received announcements of 63 lay offs in the small town this month. Over 20 lay offs were added yesterday and today. The president of the Labour Union of Akranes says that the labour market is in a turmoil.

“Icelandic wageworker doesent know what is really going on and fear and agony around the nation is obvious becouse of all the layoffs in the country.” says Vilhjálmur Birgisson, president of the Labour Union of Akranes on the unions website.

He said this week that he was afraid that more announcements of reduction would appear before the month was over, but last wednesday had already been announced 42 layoffs this week in Akranes.

“Today this number is up to 63 persons unfortunately. One example of a company that announced 13 layoffs on Wednesday had to reduce by 9 more today. So clearly there is total panic amongst employers because of the economic situation of the nation.” says Vilhjálmur Birgisson

He encourages employers to honor the rules and wage contracts that are valid in icelandic labour market today when it comes to reducing employees and changing work procedures. He says there are examples of companies who were going to resign on their current shift plans and put up a new plan with only a few days notice, despite the rules say that it is impossible to do so with such a short notice.

“The board of the Labour Union of Akranes wants to say to this nations persons of authority, wake up, because Icelandic companies, wage workers and homes are bleeding out. The board would also restate that the Icelandic government has to help companies, wage workers and homes and that immediately, and the lack of action and solutions that are facing the nation lately has to stop,” writes Vilhjálmur Birgisson, president of the Labour Union of Akranes.

(News Article by *Steinar H*)
Original Article in Icelandic

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Many are forced to pay mortgages for two apartments

Filed under: families — newsfrettir @ 5:02 pm

Married mother of three has repeatedly looked to the bank Landsbanki to have her bonded house morgage frozen – latest after getting a notice to quit her job. The banks answers are clear: We cannot do a thing. Hundreds of families are in financial crisis because of the real estate market situation.

70% recession has been in the real estate market this year. So it can be assumed that large group of people have found themselves in the situation of having recently bought a new property – but not being able to sell the old one. Therefore they are paying two housing mortgages.

At the Housing Financing Fund there have been 300 requests to freeze loans because of problems selling the old properties. Applications for these actions are increasing by the day now. President of the Realestate brokers is guessing 2-3000 families could be in this situation already.

One of these families came to the news station today. The woman and her husband have a full job with 3 teenagers. They decided a year ago to get a larger house, buy a house for 60 million ISK, but ease the payments by renting out a part of the property.

They had no luck selling the old apartment. They got tennents that didnt pay the rent. The woman got a notice to quit her job this week. The inflation this year alone has raised the loan on the apartments well over 10 million ISK. The plans calculated at home in the living room a year ago – and promised good things, are now broken.

But the family didnt take a mortgage in foreign currencies and therefore cannot have any financial aid or loans frozen at the bank. The news room got a copy of the e-mail sent from one of the Landsbanki employees the woman received yesterday:

“Sorry to hear that you lost your job. But unfortunately the answer is the same as before we cannot do anything about these loans, freezing the loans is not an option.”

(News article by *noname*)

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One third considers eloping Iceland

Filed under: economy,families,Uncategorized — newsfrettir @ 4:45 pm

Close to one third of the Icelandic nation in the ages from 15-75 years old have thought about eloping becouse of the economic situation, states Gallup after making a survey for Morgunblaðið.

Half of the nation between the ages 18-24 have thought about it. Many more men than women have throught of moving away from Iceland and almost half of specialists from private practices have also thought about it. Included in that number are many financial specialists who have lost their jobs after the bank crashes. Most all can imagine is moving to one of the other nordic countries.

(News Article by *noname*)

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More people seek help from Mothers Aid

Filed under: economy,families — newsfrettir @ 4:35 pm

About 1.000 families have had to rely on food donations from Mothers Aid in Reykjavík this October. They have increased by 50% since september.

Usually the Mothers Aid are busiest when it reaches the end of the month like now. Yesterday around 300 persons showed up asking for food donations which is much more than usual. Ragnhildur G. Guðmundsdóttir, president of the committee, says that around 1.000 families have asked for help in October, which is almost 50% more than before. Unemployed seeking for help from them have increased and Ragnhildur says she´s seeing a group of people she has hardly ever seen looking to them.

Those who are asking for help from Mothers Aid are in all age groups. Wednesdays they hand out food and clothes, but Tuesdays people can come to them with food and clothing as gifts for the needy. Ragnhildur thinks that there will be more increases soon, and the committee is preparing for that.

(News article by *noname*)

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60 laid off from Ístak

Filed under: jobs — newsfrettir @ 4:25 pm

Sixty employees were aid off this morning from Ístak constructions. Loftur Árnason, president of Ístak, says the lay offs are a part of the 300 jobs they have announced that they have planned on reducing before christmas. He wants the government and provinces to increase their projects in construction, rather than decrease.

“This is a part of it,” says Loftur. “We laid off 180 persons a month ago who are quitting now. But these 60 will quit in the next couple of months, some have 1 month notice, others 3.”

Loftur says the situation is very bad for the whole industry. “Recession in official practice does not affect the govt, but affects the companies and individuals servicing them. I think the govt is not in recession.”

“I think it would be appropriate to try to have some productivity running, or everything will just die. Thats my opinion. But of course there are too many houses and apartments and offices available for the market as is, so it serves no purpose to produce more for that market. But it is with that fact in sight important that the govt and provinces do not pull away.”

(News article by *noname*)

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Tourists will save the winter

Filed under: jobs — newsfrettir @ 3:36 pm

The increase in tourism will have the effect that noone will be laid off from Iceland Excursions Allrahanda this winter. The companies spokesmen say that this is a obvious sign of how important it is to market the tourism industry intensively overseas. They also think it is important to encourage the travel authorities to do great things in marketing and introductions.

The employees of Iceland Excursion Allrahanda count more than 60 persons during the winter time. Summer employees will be working into November, but will come back to work in March 2009. This is a longer season than it has been for the last years, says the announcement. There is also noted that the company has enough projects for the winter, and has been growing throughout the years.

Icelandic Excursions Allrahanda service over 55 thousand travelers each year, which are in most parts foreign tourists.

The managers of the company think this is a great opportunity becouse of the weak place of the ISK and the increases in tourism if the cards are played right.

(News article by *noname*)

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60 laid off at Ris ehf.

Filed under: jobs — newsfrettir @ 3:08 pm

The construction company Ris ehf. laid 60 people off becouse of difficult situations on the market. The radio announced that Ístak (construction) laid off 60 persons aswell.

“We have to go the route of redundancies. Most of the persons losing their jobs were supposed to work in assignments for Reykjavik City but we cant wait any longer, we are sorry.” Said Magnús Jónsson, president of Ris. Ris still has 140 employees.

Most employees have 3 month notice, other have 4, as Magnús states.

It is obvious that projects in construction will be very few in the next semesters because of the great recession. Many construction companies are reducing employees, some of which reducing to no employees.

(News article by *noname*)

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31.10 – 15 been laid off from Nýherji

Filed under: announcements,economy,families,jobs — newsfrettir @ 2:53 pm
Tags: ,

Nýherji has now laid off 15 persons in Iceland and monthly pay for the rest of the staff will be reduced by 10%. The basic pay for employess with less than 300.000 ISK per month will stay the same.

In the announcement it states that the pay reduction will be effective from 1. february 2009. The pay segment of the job contracts will be cancelled in writing with 3 months notice. The pay of managers and CEO´s will be reduced by 10% effective 1. November.

There might be discussions with a few employees if they will consider a part time job to come up against the recession in their job area.

There will be serious restraint in finances in running Nýherji, and reduced funds in developement and all other expences will be reduced as possible, as the announcement states.

“The financial state of Nýherji is solid, and the company is moderately indebted, but it predictable that the difficult situation in icelandic economy could have an impact on the companies income and practice. The cost of pay is almost 80% of the companies expences, so it is essential to cut back. We want to act right now as this situation has unfolded.” Says Þórður Sverrisson, president of Nýherji.

The company chain of Nýherji are 20, both here in Iceland and abroad. The daughter companies in Iceland are TM Software ehf, Applicon ehf, ParX ehf, Sence ehf, Linkur ehf, SimDex ehf, Vigor ehf, Skyggnir ehf, Origo ehf and eMR ehf. Around 720 employees are in the chain, there of 550 individuals here in Iceland, and 170 overseas. Original news article written by Sverrir Vilhelmsson

(To view the company )

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