Regular violations of rights

Same as last year


Workers' rights violations

Right to civil liberties

In April 2021, union representatives at the Tirana International Airport (Albania) attempted to open negotiations with management on health risks in relation to the physical and mental exhaustion of workers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of engaging in dialogue with the unions, the management unilaterally cut the workers’ salaries and resorted to harassment and intimidation against union members and workers. Faced with increased pressure, the workers declared themselves medically unfit for duty in accordance with international standards in the civil aviation sector. In response, the government deployed law enforcement forces, removing workers from the premises and detaining union leaders for several days in police custody or under house arrest, threatening to take legal action against union leaders and engaging replacement workers from other countries.

Dismissals for participating in strike action

On 22 May 2021, Kurum International in Albania dismissed 20 mechanics and electricians at the Ulëz and Shkopet hydroelectric plants in violation of their collective agreement signed in 2019 with the Trade Union Federation of Industrial Workers of Albania (FSPISH).

The workers staged daily protests and pickets, and trade union activists travelled from across Albania to join them. The company responded by harassing the union committee and suspending those who took part in strike action.

The hydroelectric plants are among four acquired by Turkish-based Kurum Holdings from the Albanian government in a privatisation deal in 2013. Since buying the power plants, Kurum has reduced the workforce by 120, leaving only 43 workers. The power plants are the only major source of employment in the region.

Workers’ rights in law

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