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).
Freedom of association / Right to organise
The law prohibits anti-union discrimination, but does not provide adequate means of protection against it.
Categories of workers prohibited or limited from forming or joining a union, or from holding a union office:
- Armed forces
- Other civil servants and public employees
- Senior government officials do not have the right to form and join trade unions.
Right to strike
Ban or limitations on certain types of strike actions:
- Restrictions with respect to the objective of a strike (e.g. industrial disputes, economic and social issues, political, sympathy and solidarity reasons)
- Solidarity strikes are allowed if the employer of the solidarity strikers has been actively supporting the employer whom the main strike is organised against.
Undermining of the recourse to strike actions or their effectiveness:
- Excessive civil or penal sanctions for workers and unions involved in non-authorised strike actions
- If a strike is considered unlawful, the employer can issue a back-to-work order and those workers who fail to resume work within three days can be summarily dismissed.
Limitations or ban on strikes in certain sectors:
- Undue restrictions for "public servants"
- Civil servants, regardless of their function, do not have the right to strike.
- Discretionary determination or excessively long list of "essential services" in which the right to strike is prohibited or severely restricted
- Strikes are forbidden in the essential services listed in the Labour Code, which include vital medical and hospital services, water supply services, electricity supply services, air traffic control services, fire protection services and the prison service.
The Independent Trade Union of Education made a request for recognition
The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union.
as most representative trade union for collective bargaining
The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.
See collective bargaining agreement
purposes in December 2014. The Ministry of Education continues to refuse recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. and is thereby delaying collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.
See collective bargaining agreement
negotiations with the teachers.
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.
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.
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.