Trade unions in the Faroe Islands

Fagforeninger på Færøerne
Here you can find a general overview of the trade unions that are in the Faroe Islands.

As in the other Nordic countries, the vast majority of the Faroese labour market is organised in trade unions.    

The trade unions undertake collective bargaining and represent their members’ interests in the workplace.

If you have questions about your rights and obligations as an employee, you can contact the head office or local branch of the trade union that is affiliated with your industry or technical area.

Trade unions are divided into many different professional groups. Many of these work together in umbrella organisations or confederations. 

Below is a list of the trade unions in the Faroe Islands. However, the list is not exhaustive. (All links in Faroese, except Maskinmeistarafelagið.)

Samtak is an umbrella organisation for non-skilled employees and has approximately 8,000 members, organised in the unions Føroya Arbeiðarafelag (Faroe Islands Workers' Association), Føroya Fiskimannafelag (Faroe Islands Fishers’ Association), Havns Arbeiðsmannafelag (Torshavn Workers’ Association), Klaksvíkar Arbeiðsmannafelag (Klaksvik Workers’ Association) and Klaksvíkar Arbeiðskvinnufelag (Klaksvik Working Women’s Association).

Starvmannafelagið has approximately 2,400 members and is the trade union for office employees in the central administration, the municipalities and the public limited companies. It has 300 different professional groups, and could be compared to HK-kommunal and HK-stat in Denmark.  

Føroya Lærarafelag  (Faroe Islands Teachers' Association) has approximately 900 members, and is for trained teachers.

Føroya Pedagogfelag  (Faroe Islands Social Educators’ Association) has approximately 2,000 members. Its members are trained social educators and assistants.

Búskapar og løgfrøðingafelag Føroya  is mainly a union for economists and lawyers.

Akademikarafelag Føroya is an umbrella organisation for  Magistarafelagið (MA Graduates’ Association), Verkførðingafelagið (Engineers’ Association), byggifrøðingafelagið (Constructing Architects’ Assocation) and Arkitektafelagið (Architect’s Association)

Yrkisfelag Studentaskúla- og HF-lærara  (trade union for upper secondary school teachers and commercial college teachers)

Tænastamannafelag landsins (Civil Servants’ Association)

Føroya Handverkarafelag  (Faroese Handicraft Association) is the central organisation for the local Faroese artisan associations. At present, seven local associations are affiliated with Føroya Handverkarafelag.

Maskinmeistarafelagið  is the trade union for marine engineers and machinists, and has approximately 600 members. The association has agreements with the shipping companies and with both private and public employers’ associations in the area of maritime shipping and related work on land.

Føroya Skipara- og Navigatørfelag  is the union for skippers and navigators. Anyone with navigational training can become a member of the association.  Other members of this trade union include marine pilots, navigation school teachers, navigation school students, harbourmasters, lighthouse keepers and lightsmen.

Heilsuhjálparafelag Føroya  is the union for assistant nurses and paramedics. 

Heilsurøktarafelagið is the union for social and healthcare professionals.

S&K-felagið  is the union for commercial and restaurant employees.

SFS (Eik, Føroyskir Sparikassar and Elektron) is the bank employees' union.

Felagið Føroyskir Sjúkrarøktarfrøðingar is the nurses' union, and has approximately 900 members.

Yrkisfelagið Trygdin is the union for employees of the insurance companies Tryggingarfelag Føroya and Føroya Lívstrygging.

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