3 – Regular violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index


The ITUC affiliates in Albania are the Confederation of the Trade Unions of Albania (KSSH) and the Union of the Independent Trade Unions of Albania (BSPSH).

In practice

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Workers prevented from joining union of their choice08-06-2016

Workers at the Durres Ferry Terminal were prevented from joining the BSPSH-affiliated union by their employer, a private enterprise. In the run-up to the trade union elections, those who wanted to join the BSPSH’s affiliate were threatened. The employer would only recognise unions created within the enterprise, which the BSPSH viewed as yellow unions.

Obstacles to setting up union bank accounts08-06-2016

It remains difficult for trade union federations to set up bank accounts, the Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania (BSPSH) reports. They are often required to be registered at the tax office and provide a “TIN” number, given to registered business, even though they are non-profit organisations exempted from tax. The problem has been raised several times in the National Labour Council but to date no solution has been found.

Attempt to by-pass BSPSH union in collective bargaining08-06-2016

When the Independent Education Trade Union affiliated to the Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania (BSPSH) applied for a renewal of its collective agreement in December 2014 as the most representative trade union in the Albanian education system, it met with repeated delays. The BSPSH believes the aim was to remove the union from the negotiations and sign an agreement with the union close to the government. Finally, thanks to the intervention of the National Conciliation conciliation An attempt by a neutral third party, a conciliator, to aid the settling of an industrial dispute by improving communications, offering advice and interpreting issues to bring the disputing parties to a point where they can reconcile their differences. The conciliator does not take as active a role as a mediator or an arbitrator.

See arbitration, mediation
Office, negotiations began at the end of September 2015, and an agreement was signed by the parties in January 2016.

Discrimination against independent union federation08-06-2016

The Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania (BSPSH) is currently under-represented on the National Labour Council, where it has a minority of representatives despite having the highest membership. The BSPSH also notes that the KESH energy corporation and the Ministry of Health have both signed collective agreements with unions close to the government, despite the fact that BSPSH represents the highest number of workers. The BSPSH was signatory to a collective agreement with the Ministry of Health until February 2015, when the new agreement was signed with anther union behind its back.

Union leaders unfairly dismissed08-06-2016

The Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania (BSPSH) reported that leaders of its member unions had again been dismissed for their union activities. The chairmen of enterprise level unions in the following industries and regions were dismissed:
In the forestry sector in Korca and Puka,
In the energy sector in Shkodra,
In the health system in Shkodra, Elbasan, Gjirokastra and Fier,
In the telecom system in Fier and Gjirokastra,
In the Water Supply and Sewerage system in Tirana.
In most cases the employers were found guilty of unfair dismissal and the union leaders received compensation.

Recognition for collective bargaining:19-06-2015
Anti-union discrimination:19-06-2015

Several workers were dismissed from their jobs for joining and leading trade unions.
- The leader of the Trade Unions of Energy Enterprises was transferred from his workplace to another site.
- The leader of the Trade Unions of the Telecom Company was dismissed under the guise of restructuring.
- The leader of the Trade Unions of Forest Enterprises was dismissed in 2014 and continues to challenge his dismissal in court.

Bad working conditions in textile and footwear sector31-12-2011

Violations of workers’ and trade union rights are especially frequent in the textile and footwear sector, which accounts for around 35% of exports and employs around two thirds of all workers in the private non-agricultural sector. Out of approximately 100,000 workers, around 90% are young women, while child labour is not uncommon. The rate of unregistered workers in the industry is estimated at around 40%. Union membership in the sector remains very low, owing to threats of dismissal against anyone joining a union.

Anti-union employers31-12-2011

The Confederation of Trade Unions of Albania (KSSH) reports that employers’ anti-union behaviour is widespread, and includes transfers, demotions, wage cuts and dismissals. Many companies remain very hostile to trade unions, seeing them as an obstacle to freely managing their relationship with the workers, and try to avoid collective agreements. In some companies, trade unions are denied contact with the workers, and there have been cases of violent anti-union behaviour.

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