Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Iceland 2016
The Icelandic Federation of Labour Unions 100th Anniversary

ISSUE DATE: 18 February 2016
STAMP SIZE: 42 x 29.47 mm
 STAMP DESIGN: Tryggvi T. Tryggvason

The Icelandic Federation of Labour Unions (ASÍ) is the general organization of wage earners, founded in 1916 in order to facilitate workers’ struggle for better wage terms. The Union has had a major impact, not only regarding its own rights and terms of employment, but on society as a whole. The first Icelandic trade unions were created in times of great changes in the national economy, Iceland was changing from a rural society into a modern society. People flocked from the countryside to towns and villages, and a large class of workers came into existence. 

The first trade unions were created around the turn of the last century. On March 12, 1916, ASÍ held its inaugural meeting in Reykjavik, attended by twenty representatives from seven labour unions. In 1942, all Icelandic workers united in the largest federation ever to have been formed in the Icelandic labour market. Many rights of working people that now seem self-evident were won at great cost and sacrifice. Gender equality was one of the main objectives of ASÍ‘s activities. The struggle for a shorter workday ended in 1972 with a 40-hour week finally being legislated. ASÍ now has nearly 106,000 members, belonging to five national organizations and 50 member unions throughout the country.

Stamp images and description thanks to Iceland Post