Last week, 125 women improved their wages and working conditions through a new negotiated agreement with an Albanian subsidiary of an Italian multinational lighting company. The agreement, which ended a 15-day work stoppage, was supported by Solidarity Center Albania union partners Bashkimi i Sindikatave te Pavarura te Shqiperise (BSPSH) and Sindikata e Pavarur e Minatoreve te Shqiperise (SPMSH).
“An extraordinary example, these 125 women; an example to be followed by all!” said SPMSH-Albania President Gezim Kalaja, who partially credited the win to support from Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori (CISL), European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), IndustriALL Europe, IndustriALL Global Union, Pan European Regional Council (PERC), PERC’s Women’s Committee and the Solidarity Center.
The agreement won substantial wage increases—7 percent during year one, 11 percent during year two and 17 percent during year three—and sidelined an employer-proposed reduction in the number of shifts available for workers.
Iliria-Electric Albania produces plastic components for lighting sold on the European market by Arditi Italy.
The win underscores the company’s course correction toward respect for fundamental labor rights, including the right to collective agreements and freedom of association in Albania, said IndustriALL Europe General Secretary Luc Triangle.