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Cool German words - Spießer

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For the next few fun words, I first have to explain the word Spießer(n). It is a word maybe the rest of the world can do without, but no other is so entwined with the German condition. Ein Spießer is a narrow minded, petty person, obsessed with rules and "good social standing". In English it gets tranlated as bourgois and square, but this does not come close to the meaning. Just like every human being has a little Schweinehund inside, in every German lives a little Spießer. When Germany decided to take in more refugees in 2015 a lot of people worried if they will manage to recycle correctly. Peak Spießer.


Wedding speech

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So my friend whom I made give a Büttenrede to me for my birthday got married a few weeks ago and he decided this is the time to ask me to return the favour. His funeral (and wedding), I guess:

I was asked to give a speech that has to be funny and rhyme,
do you guys really think I have this much time?
And your decision making here has me a bit worried,
that legally you might not be allowed to be married.
Should you not be of sound mind?
You know you cannot trust me to be kind!

So what can I say about these two people getting married here?
I have witnessed their relationship closely over many a year.
Let's start with Mariska
my sister from another mista.
She used to be an adventuress hitchhiking across the far north of this island.
She found refuge on my couch for a while and
I like to think her decision to move here was partly to try and find me again,
though she did not need to search long, for we sat next to her on the plane.
Is she a stalker? Am I? No way to know that,
but before long we were sharing a flat.

This flat soon saw a frequent visitor
and this is how I met this mister.
At first I thought he disliked me and I was quite shaken,
but at brunch he kept feeding me bacon.
I'm simple this way, I cannot pretend
give me food and I'll be your friend.
Now, we still like to make fun of each other and be a bother
- but he is my brother from another mother.

And last there is Maia, the cutest of them all.
Having us wrapped around her finger so small.
Together they are "meine Ersatzfamilie" on this cold rock in the middle of the Atlantic.
I will conclude this speech now, before you all panic
and think you will have to listen to me waffle on forever.
Let us now celebrate with them together!



Thank god for rhyming dictionaries!


Picture of the week - Accidental photo

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On my way to the harbour to take pictures of the sea I happened to see some kids were playing in the windows of Harpa

accidental_photo


It is time for a radical response

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Last week Efling launched a campaign in support of a worker fired in retribution for being a union representative (""https://www.efling.is/en/2021/10/icelandair-attacks-a-union-rep-and-workers-rights/""). Rightfully so, Ólöf Helga Adolfsdóttur has our full solidarity.

I was a bit surprised at the strong reaction from the union. We have known several foreign workers over the years who were fired or simply removed from shift schedules in retribution for being a union representative. It is common practice in the tourism and restaurant sector. There was no campaign for them, no attempt by the union to get their job back, only a legal case that took about two years and ended with the workers maybe getting a pay out of two or three months wages.



This is why firing of representatives are so common for foreign workers. There are very few consequences for employers and it is very much worth paying a bit of money to get rid of an active worker, who can make sure their coworkers rights are respected and send a message that anyone can be fired for speaking up.

My brilliant comrade said last year over coffee, that the rights abuses foreign workers have been experiencing for years will also affect Icelandic workers once the economic downturn from Covid sets in. This is also not the first time Icelandair is blatantly braking Icelandic labour law with the full support of the SA (Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise). Earlier this year they fired striking workers, something we made a video about (""https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RH4tg9mh1o"") and something that they faced zero consequences for, because ASÍ (the Icelandic Confederation of Labour) was very concerned about preserving the peace on the labour market. I cannot help but see the actions of Icelandair in the past as a concentrated effort to erode union rights in Iceland, especially as both times they had the full backing of the SA. Which is why the statement of Ragnar Þór Ingólfsson, chairmain of VR union “I find it quite unlikely that a company in the position that [Icelandair] is in will go to war with the union movement” (""https://www.visir.is/g/20212166353d/med-o-likindum-ad-icelandair-aetli-i-strid-vid-verka-lyds-hreyfinguna"") gave me quite a headache.



Our rights are under attack. Whether it is in the small scale of union representatives getting fired or a full on attack on the right to strike, employers are trying to introduce radical changes to the labour market. It is time for a radical response by the unions.


And we are back!

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The old laptop running my server finally died (it had been housing this blog since 2012, lived on 3 different continents during that time and 5 countries). It took me some time to set everything up on my not ancient laptop (fortunately I back everything up regularly) and if this post posts (linux permissions settings are my kryptonite) all is good.


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