|Thingspeaker of Azmara|
19 May 2017 – 13 July 2020
|Preceded by||Sofija Freidriksdohter|
|Succeeded by||Sofija Anasdohter|
|Leader of the Workers' Party|
2 August 2015 – 13 July 2020
|Preceded by||Marie Mellon|
|Succeeded by||Sofija Anasdohter|
|Member of the Folksmot|
|Assumed office |
11 April 2011
|Born||June 11, 1959|
Ryksby, Groonbank, Azmara
|Political party||Workers' Party|
|Spouse(s)||Jana Wiljâmsdohter (m. 1987)|
|Alma mater||Sloh College|
Eryk Jorśsun (born 11 June 1959) is an Azmaran politician who currently serves as Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and as a Member of the Folksmot for Hytklif. He formerly served as Thingspeaker of Azmara between 2017 and 2020 and as Leader of the Workers' Party between 2015 and 2020.
Jorśsun grew up in a working class household in Ryksby, Groonbank, and studied Economics at Sloh College, graduating with a LMW in Economics and Politics in 1981. After graduation, he served as a trade union official and later as an adviser to the left-leaning provincial government in Sompland. Gaining a PhD from his alma mater in 1994, he then served as a lecturer at the college in Economics for 16 years, resigning in late 2010 to contest the upcoming election on a Workers' Party ticket and being elected in Haadland.
Between 2011 and 2015 he was a major voice on the left of the party, often openly criticising the party leadership, and became known nationally after vocally supporting the 2013 student protests. After the party gained its worst result in 2014 under the leadership of Marie Mellon, he successfully stood for the leadership in 2015 on a platform of left-wing reforms to address issues of social deprivation in former industrial towns across the country.
Jorśsun's leadership of the party into the 2017 election gave the party its best result since the 1978 election, gaining 36% of the vote and 56 seats, leading to him becoming Thingspeaker after forming a coalition with the Green Party and the Socialist Party and returning the party back to government after a six-year spell in opposition. As Thingspeaker, his government pursued a significantly more economic interventionist course than previous governments, pursuing programs of investment in areas facing industrial decline, as well as engaging in programs of renationalisation and placing greater emphasis on social welfare and efforts to tackle climate change.
After delivering the Workers' Party a second strong result in the 2020 election of 33% of the vote and 51 seats, Jorśsun stepped down as Thingspeaker, citing a desire to pass government on to the next generation of politicians in a move largely considered to be connected to a failure to triangulate between trade unionists and his Green coalition partners over the Tuaisceart-Süd II pipeline. He was succeeded by his former Home Secretary Sofija Anasdohter and being appointed Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations in her cabinet.
Jorśsun was born on 11 June 1959 at the Ana-Hylager-Krankerhaas in the new town of Ryksby, Groonbank, Azmara, the only child of Jorś Mikelssun and Niina Freisdohter. Both his parents had come from working-class families in Aalmsted, and had moved to Ryksby as children as part of its rapid expansion after the Great War, and had met while studying at the Aldsted Arbeiderskul, a vocational school in the Aldsted neighbourhood of the city.
His father worked at a steel mill for much of Jorśsun's childhood, yet in 1971 despite picketing by the Steel and Millworkers' Union, of which he was a member, he was made redundant along with many other fellow workers as the Azmaran steel industry began to enter a period of decline. His family suffered from financial hardships after this, as his mother's work as a cleaner failed to cover the family's expenses and the family was thus reliant on government aid to sustain themselves for much of 1971 and 1972 before his father refound work as a cashier at a local newsagents, which while not as generous in salary as the steel mill allowed the family to come off government aid. Jorśsun has commented on this experience heavily while in politics, saying that the experience taught him "the importance of government support to the least off" and led to an interest in demand-side economics as he developed a strong belief in the importance of full employment.
Jorśsun attended the Aldsted Ândeskul for his primary education between 1965 and 1973, graduating with very high results in his ÂSWP, the examinations sat at the end of the qualification. He later attended West-Ryksby Gâlykskul, one of the first comprehensive schools in the country, and obtained the academically-focused GWP qualification, with exceptionally high results in Mathematics, History, Economics, Weranian and Psychology.
On the basis of his high GWP, in 1978 he was admitted into Sloh College, a presitigious liberal arts institution based in the university town of Sloh, Hytklif, where he studied Economics and Politics. It was here where he became active in student politics, becoming an active memeber of the university's chapter of the Workers' Party, and also played for the college in ice hockey tournaments. Jorśsun has cited his experiences at the college in calling for schemes to address underrepresentation of working-class students at prestigious universities, saying that there were only seven working-class students out of the thirty-five students in his year enrolled in his course.
After his graduation from Sloh College in 1981, Jorśsun began to work as a union official for the Steel and Millworkers' Union, serving as deputy general secretary of the Sompland branch of the union from 1984.
Jorśsun's tenure as general secretary saw the union enter an industrial dispute as in 1985 the Azmaran Steel Board announced its intention to close two large mills in the city of Nysted, citing the heavy losses both mills were making as institutions. However, the mills served as major employers to the city, and their closure would result in thousands of job losses, and as a result a local strike ballot was held over the issue, resulting in a 73% yes vote.
The strike would lead to negotiations with the Steel Board and the government, in which Jorśsun served as one of the union's lead negotiators. While ultimately he was not able to convince the government not to close either mill, resulting in negotiations collapsing twice, he was ultimately able to negotiate for a much longer transition period of closure with the intent of allowing more time for the city's economy to restructure and diversify. However, this verdict was unacceptable to certain swathes of the membership, resulting in his resignation in 1986.