Building Workers’ Power

November 4, 2020 – Annual PERC Women Meeting

Annual Meeting (School) of the PERC Women Network.

This meeting was focused on “Women on the Front Line during the Pandemic: Challenges and the Way Forward”, and discussed the following topics:

Covid-19 and its effects on women – experiences, exchange and analysis;

Lessons learned – consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and the way forward;

190 ILO Convention 190: updating and the way forward.

In this online meeting, organized by ITUC / PERC, KSSH was represented by:

Znj. Anisa Subashi, KSSH Deputy President,

Znj. Suzana Lulaj, General Secretary of the Federation of Trade Unions of Textile, Garment and Handcraft Workers of Albania,

Znj. Besiana Mile, KSSH Women’s Network Coordinator

KSSH Deputy President of, Mrs. Subashi, during the meeting discussed about the situation in Albania, giving an overview of where it is in the above-mentioned issues. She stressed that in Albania:

The situation due to Covid-19 continues to be difficult, and the number of infected is increasing by a high number every day. Also an added problem every day from this pandemic is the increase of violence against women in the family, but also in the workplace, as well as the increased stress of working women in the workplace. Restrictive measures are expected to be stepped up, depending on how the pandemic situation unfolds.

A disturbing case, which has already become internationally known by the Federation of Trade Unions of Industry, is in an oil company in southern Albania, in Ballsh, where 10 women continue be in hunger strike for 20 days after the employees of this private company has not paid the salaries. We are thankfull to AFL-CIO and IndustruAll for sending support letter and their solidrity.

The minimum wage, finally, has been decided from Government to be increased by 15%, although KSSH has about 3 years that is requesting it in all official meetings; with official letters sent based on studies; in media; and at the National Labour Council. In the specific health sector, where employees are on the pandemic front line, it will increase by 40%.

Regarding ILO Convention 190 “Convention on Violence and Harassment”, thanks to the ongoing requests sent by KSSH on 7 October 2019, in January 2020, the Request in June 2020 to include it in the agenda of the meeting of the National Labor Council which took place and was discussed in June, as well as the introduction and discussion at the meeting of the National Labor Council in October 2020 is well on its way to ratification. The Ministry has conducted a study that shows that this Convention can be ratified and that there are no major obstacles, except for the time it will take for transfusion and adaptation of laws in Albanian legislation.

KSSH has sent this information in more detail to international colleagues before.

In this meeting was also the ITUC General Secretary, Mrs. Sharan Burrow, who in her discussion emphasized the message:

Jobs – Jobs – Jobs

A New Social Contract is a must – where social protection must be at its core

Women should be the focus of recovery policies

Together we are stronger.