The letter was sent to Edi Rama, who leads the country's Socialist Party government, this week in support of our members in the Trade Union Federation of Industrial Workers of Albania (FSPISH).

The letter states:

"FSPISH has informed us about violations of labour and trade union rights at Byllis Energy. The union has been seeking to reach a collective agreement with the General Administrator of Byllis Energji for some time.

"However, the process, initiated in April 2018 with the signing of the Act-Agreement between the parties, has stalled and it seems that there is no willingness from management to recognize SPNSH/FSPISH as a bargaining partner and abide by the terms of the aforementioned agreement.

"In addition, FSPISH members at Byllis Energy are being pressured to relinquish their union membership, and elected trade union representatives are also under pressure to resign from their positions. Local union leaders are not allowed to enter the union office, which is on the company premises.

"This is clear evidence that management is trying to get rid of union representation and freely elected union leaders in the plant. This contravenes ILO core labour standards such as Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize, and Convention 98 on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining, which Albania has ratified.

"Preventing union leaders from entering their office is another serious breach of ILO standards, as is the refusal to operate the check-off system that had been agreed upon.

"In addition, as a EU candidate country, Albania is expected to align with EU labour laws and regulations, which includes the practice of social dialogue.

"It is the government’s responsibility to promote consultation processes and collective bargaining between the social partners.

"We therefore urge you to intervene with the Byllis Energy management to ensure that the company will engage on social dialogue with FSPISH, recognize FSPISH as a bargaining partner, and respect and implement the Act-Agreement, for the benefit of workers and the company alike."

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