Nedjelja 14.4.2024.

CRISIS IN ALBANIA: Surpression of working class organising

State Oppression of Miners and Trade-Unionists in Albania

Miners of Bulqiza mines in Albania have recently founded a trade union to fight for better working conditions. After undertaking the industrial action, miners and unionists faced reprisals by the company owner, Albania's notorious oligarch Samir Mane, as well as by the government. Comrades from Albania ask for international solidarity in breaking the media blockage of their struggle. We are going to publish updates from Albania as we receive them from our Organizata Politike comrades.

What happened in Bulqiza?

The miners of Bulqiza have recently founded a new union (officially recognised on 15.10.2019) – Union of United Miners of Bulqiza (Sindikata e Minatorëve të Bashkuar të Bulqizës), after realising the old one is never going to change their working conditions, as it is tightly connected to the political parties and cooperates with the owner against the miners themselves.

Only a couple of days after the official announcement of the foundation of the new union (17.11.2019), their leader – Elton Debreshi - was illegally fired by the company which belongs to Albania’s most notorious oligarch Samir Mane. Soon they also fired the secretary of the finances – Beqir Durici - following with one of the members of the council of the union – Behar Gjimi. All of them were fired because of their union affiliation, although the company justified its actions by announcing that those miners had broken the work ethics rules.

Since the beginning of the activity of union the media has boycotted them massively by the orders of the oligarch. Especially during their six day long strike in front of the mine. The oligarch has also captured the government which hasn’t taken any action to stop the company’s aggressive actions towards the miners and the union.

At this point, it is extremely important to break the media barrier and to spread the word about oppression of miners and trade unionists in Albania. A solidarity petition is being signed. You can add your signature here.

31/12/2019 Another activist arrested (VIDEO)

Another Organizata Politike activist has been taken into custody by the Police. Charges are yet unclear, and the arrest took place in front of the Logu i Shkëndijës social centre. You can see the footage of the arrest here.

30/12/2019 Activists released from Police custody

The three activists who have been arrested in Tirana last Friday have today been heard in front of a judge and, subsequently, released from Police custody. They are obliged by the Court to sign in with the Police on weekly basis, pending further Court proceedings.

27/12/2019 Activists arrested in Tirana

On Friday December 27th, activists of Organizata Politike did a political action in TEG (a commercial center, whose owner is the oligarch Samir Mane) where they distributed informative leaflets which had written "Samir Mane stole the miners' holidays.", because Samir Mane has concessioned the mines in the town of Bulqizë and has fired from work four miners because of their Union activity.

That Friday seven activists have been beaten by private security of TEG and then have been escorted to the Police Station. Three of them (Bislim Lakna, Frenklin Elini, Enriko Peçuli) are still being held to the Police Station and on Monday (December 30th) will stand trial. Meanwhile, media is staying silent, not mentioning neither the injustice being done to the miners nor the violence against the activists.