15 days of strikes and resistance by 125 working women of Iliria-Electric Albania, supported by our affiliates, the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Albania, Bashkimi i Sindikatave te Pavarura te Shqiperise- BSPSH member of Sindikata e Pavarur e Minatoreve te Shqiperise - SPMSH, have ended with a satisfactory collective agreement. This agreement ensures a return to social peace, production continues, and the women can finally return to work.

The Iliria-Electric trade union has signed a collective agreement which meets the demands of the workers: Wages will be raised by 7.6% for the first year, 11.4% for the second, and 17.6% for third year.

Furthermore, Iliria-Electric will organise production in a two-shift working schedule instead of three and the management has agreed on a joint review of working norms together with the workers’ rrepresentatives. These norms are considered fair and attainable.

Iliria-Electric Albania is the subsidiary of Arditi, Italy, producing plastic components for lighting.

Female workers stood up in solidarity for their fundamental rights and just demands after the management denied workers an initial discussion of a collective agreement and failed to listen to them. Workers responded with a warning strike, but when no response was forthcoming. greater pressure was put on management and workers announced an indefinite strike.

Against all difficulties, and with the strong support of their families, the workers showed extraordinary stamina. After 15 days of strike action, they reached their goal and management returned to the negotiation table.

The workers were supported in their struggle by the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Albania and its president, Gezim Kalaja, who also signed the collective agreement. Kalaja has commended the solidarity shown to the sisters at Ilaria-Electric by many unions, including the letter of solidarity which industriAll Europe and IndustriALL global union sent Iliria-Electric’s parent company in Italy.

Luc Triangle, General Secretary of industriAll Europe, expressed his solidarity on hearing of this victory:

“With the renewal of the collective agreement, the company can now get back on track by respecting the fundamental labour rights, including the right to collective agreements and freedom of association at its operation in Albania.”

Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley (press and communication)