Only a few days after the establishment of the union of the Bulqizë miners' union, Albchrome (Albania's largest chrome producer) fired union secretary Elton Debreshi.
The union was officially established only on November 17 and, as reported by Debreshi a BIRN, threats from Albchrome would have arrived immediately:
"They threatened us openly by telling us that we would be ugly now that we founded the new union."- reported Debreshi.
On the issue, the company - through spokesman Sokol Kondi - has made it known that the dismissal of Debreshi came following a notice "for misconduct at work" arrived in April this year.
The statement of the union
The union of the Bulqizë miners' union immediately reacted, through a statement on Facebook, to Debreshi's dismissal, accusing Albchrome of having acted for "revenge":
"The union of the Bulqizë miners' union considers the dismissal of the secretary of this union, Elton Debreshi, by the Albchrome company illegal and unjust. This decision was communicated today 22 November 2019 accompanied by the trivial motivation of a violation of Debreshi's work ethic.
For clarity, 'the violation of ethics' happened a few months ago, but the company only remembered when Elton Debreshi was chosen as secretary of the union. Such a decision clearly comes as a result of the union organization undertaken by Elton and dozens of other miners. Clear pressure against Bulqizë's miners not to dare ask for their rights.
The company has also called other union founders to inform them of unfounded disciplinary measures such as a warning of dismissal. The fact that the company is attacking our union harshly and illegally shows that we are on the right track for the rights of miners.
[...] We will not remain with arms folded before such acts. On the contrary, we will fight with our teeth for our rights which are guaranteed by law, the constitution and international bodies."- reads the union document.
Official Facebook page of the Bulqizë Miners' Union