A strike by public sector workers on October 5 crippled Iceland's ports, airport, police services, and radio and television.
1. GV PAN & SVs Students gathered outside university buildings (4 shots) 0.22
2. SVs Police on motorcycles, in cars and vans, policemen on foot carrying placards stage protest (3 shots) 0.50
3. CU PULL BACK TO SVs Public watching closed circuit television in supermarket (3 shots) 1.03
4. TV Protestors gathered in square before rally starts 1.10
5. SV Leader of Labour Union preparing his speech 1.16
6. SV PAN Protestors holding placards 1.22
7. GV PAN & SVs Crowd listens as union leader makes speech (5 shots) 1.44
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Background: REYKJAVIK, ICELAND
A strike by public sector workers on October 5 crippled Iceland's ports, airport, police services, and radio and television. The indefinite strike was called by unions in protest against the right-wing government's economic policies, which they said were drastically cutting living standards. A government call to man essential services was ignored. According to official estimates the entire country could be brought to a standstill in two weeks if the stoppage continues. Students supporting the strike gathered outside Reykjavik University -- radio reports said scuffles broke out near there between pickets and strikebreakers. One quarters of the city's police service paraded through the streets to protest against the extra work the strike was giving them. The streets themselves were empty of public transport, as transport workers also joined the dispute. With radio and television off the air, the public was left with only private closed-circuit television to watch. The 17,000 strong public sector unions are calling for an across-the-board wage rise of 40 per cent. The government has offered public sector workers a big tax cut and a six per cent wage rise. Negotiations between the government and unions began on October 5 under the auspices of an independent mediator. Observers said there were no signs of breakthrough.