ICFTU OnLine – June 22, 2006(1)

Brussels, 22 June (ICFTU online): The Executive Board of the ICFTU, at its 125th meeting on 21 June 2006, expresses its profound concern at the situation in Albania and the possible consequences it could have for the social dialogue. It urges the government to assume its responsibilities and find, with the BSPSH and KSSH, an immediate solution to this issue

The ICFTU’s two affiliates in Albania, the BSPSH (Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania) and KSSH (Confederation of Trade Unions of Albania) have yesterday been refused access to their headquarters. This is the culmination of a lengthy procedure and a decision by the Albanian courts to return the trade union building to its former private owner, despite the fact that the building has belonged to the trade union movement for decades. For many years now, the ICFTU has been calling on the government of Albania to find a solution to this issue that would enable the two most representative trade union organisations in the country to operate in decent conditions. So far, the government has claimed not to be involved in the matter.

In a letter to the authorities, the ICFTU has called on the prime minister to take immediate measures to withdraw the police forces from the trade union building and to start a dialogue with the KSSH and the BSPSH in order to find a solution which would respect both the jurisdiction of Albania and the right of trade unions to function. Only this can safeguard the continuity of the social dialogue in Albania.