There are three subdivisions within VR, in East Iceland, South Iceland, and in Vestmannaeyjar. The role of a subdivision includes involvement in the common interests of employees within sectors/industries/regions, encouraging their education, and addressing employment terms issues (see Art. 15 of VR’s laws.)
The history of the commercial workers’ unions of East Iceland, South Iceland, and Vestmannaeyjar
The history of Verslunarmannafélag Austurlands
Verslunarmannafélag Reyðarfjarðar- og Egilsstaðakauptúns was established on 5 May 1960. Björn Eysteinsson was the first Chairman of the union. In the early 1970s, people in other urban centres in East Iceland began to join the union, and its name was changed to Verslunarmannafélag Austurlands in 1972. A year later, the area of operation was expanded to cover both Múlasýslas. Towards the end of 1982, the union opened an office, and this increased services to members greatly.
In May 2008, a proposal for a merger with VR was approved at the union's Annual General Meeting, and as a result, a special subdivision of VR was established in East Iceland. Kristín M. Björnsdóttir was elected Chairman of the subdivision, but she was the Chairman of Verslunarfélag Austurlands from 1999 to 2008.
The history of Verslunarmannafélag Suðurlands
Verslunarmannafélag Suðurlands was founded on 15 May 2000 at Hlíðarendi, Hvolsvöllur, out of the unions Verslunarmannafélag Rangárvallasýslu and Verslunarmannafélag Árnessýslu, both of which had been operating for several decades. The leaders of the unions reached an agreement to merge them into one union.
At the extra annual meeting of Verslunarmannafélag Suðurland (VMS) on Tuesday, 15 November 2016, the proposal of the board of VMS that the union would enter into merger negotiations with VR was approved.
The VR subdivision in South Iceland was officially established at the subdivision's inaugural meeting on 2 May 2017. The first chairman of the VR subdivision in South Iceland is Gils Einarsson.
The history of Verzlunarmannafélag Vestmannaeyja
Verzlunarmannafélag Vestmannaeyja was established on 22 June 1944. The union joined the Icelandic Confederation of Labour in October of the same year. The last meeting of the union was held in 1950 and the union was then abolished. On 1 June 1962, Verzlunarmannafélag Vestmannaeyja was re-established with the help of the Commercial Federation of Iceland, and its first Chairman was Stefán Björnsson.
In the years 1973-74, during the Vestmannaeyjar eruption, there was a setback in the union's activities, but it was back on track a year later. In 1993, the union opened an office, and the activities subsequently grew.
In October 2007, a proposal for a merger with VR was approved at the Annual General Meeting of Verzlunarmannafélag Vestmannaeyja, and it was also agreed to establish a special subdivision of VR in Vestmannaeyjar. The first Chairman of the subdivision was Guðrún Erlingsdóttir, who was previously the Chairman of Verzlunarmannafélag Vestmannaeyja. The chairman of the VR subdivision in Vestmannaeyjar is Þórhildur Ragna Karlsdóttir.
Information obtained from the book Með oddi og egg, stéttarfélög á Íslandi by Ingólfur Ingvarsson and Samúel Ingi Þórisson.