Every Day Life
Gudfinna Indridadottir is an accountant at Nordural and a language division college graduate. Gudfinna was one of
the first employees of Nordural and was employed when the construction project started in Grundartangi. “I started work at the company in February 1998, in a little office at Armuli in Reykjavik. These were exciting times, there was a great feeling of anticipation in the air and there was a lot for us to learn. This was naturally more personal when there were only a few of us than now, when there are hundreds of employees,but the work morale at Nordural has always been good. The interactions have naturally sometimes been tested when busy times and great changes have coincided, but in retrospect,these industrious times were good times.”
Gudfinna operates a sheep farm at Skipanes with her husband, Stefan Armannsson, but claims to leave most of the sheep farming to him along with operating the local machine shop. There are also various other things to attend to as they have three children, a 19 year old boy and two daughters, 17 and 12 years old. “We all help one another and in that way things work out for the best.”
Gudfinna’s daily work involves the supervision of invoices from contractors and suppliers, registration and follow-up, in addition to handling invoices from abroad and payments of loans. “Working at Nordural has been a growing experience and perhaps what has surprised me the most has been the international work environment. I have had to use my college English as much as Icelandic and it did not make matters worse to know some German when we were working with the Germans at the beginning.”
At the beginning of her employment at Nordural, Gudfinna attended music studies alongside her work and she completed the 8th level in singing from Borgarfjordur Music School in the year 2000. “I received understanding and goodwill from Nordural and was able to reduce work temporarily to attend the music school, as I had to prepare myself almost daily. Since then I have managed to make this hobby of mine flourish quite well alongside work. I am a member of both the Chamber Choir of the West of Iceland and the Hallgrímskirkja Motet Choir of Reykjavík, and I have occasionally appeared as a soloist.”
Stefan Armannsson, motor technician and agriculturist, moved out to the country in 1990 with his wife, Gudfinna Indridadottir, to Skipanes in Hvalfjordur District and took over the farm of his aunt. “During the first years I took on various jobs. I worked in a butchery in the falls, worked at horse break-in during the winter and took part in various projects during the summer, and then I had also started the sheep herding.”
At the end of 1994, Stefan established a machine shop and a garage which he called the Buvelaverkstaedi in Skipanes and started servicing farmers in the vicinity. The operation was rather small to begin with but grew rapidly when Nordural appeared on the scene in 1998. At the beginning of 1998, the machine shop had three employees, but now has 15. The operation has grown from 130 m² to 600 m² including the offices and staff facilities.
“Getting Nordural as a customer transformed our operations. From the beginning Nordural has been a very important customer and brought us more stability and the power to grow.” Stefan and his people provide diverse services to Nordural. They provide general maintenance for the garage and in the pot rooms, rodding room, casthouse, substation and at the harbor area where the company services the alumina crane. Stefan and his people attend to the maintenance of all the work tools in the pot rooms and make specialized tools such as sampling spoons.
Stefan, who is the Chairman of the Employment Affairs Committee of Hvalfjordur District, says Nordural had an enormous impact on the community. “The construction of Hvalfjordur tunnel marked the end of all industry at the bottom of the fjord; suddenly the oil station, Botnskali shop and restaurant and the NATO base were part of history. The aluminum plant at Grundartangi could not come at a better time. I believe many of the local people, who have employment, are working for Nordural.”