A group of miners is protesting today in front of the Parliament, demanding their rights. The miners are asking for the approval of miners’ status, which has ben promised to them for years but nonetheless still has not been voted for in Parliament.
Protesters expressed that despite the many years of labor, they still do not have a status that protects and guarantees their rights.
“It has been 27 years that we keep being mislead by both parties”, a miner stated.
They warned that if their demands are not met, the protests will escalate into hunger strike.
In March 2017, the Ministry of Energy made it known that is working on drafting a special status for coalminers, following their request.
Some of the main requirements were an increase of the minimal wage to 700,000 lekë per month, retirement benefits for miners and their families in case of work injuries and accidents, pension increase and reduction of retirement age.
They also ask for the right to a free medical check-up, and in the case of professional illnesses, the state must provide free medical treatment.
At present the number of former and current workers in the mines is estimated to be around 8000. They are known to have the shortest lifespan when compared with other citizens, due to challenging conditions of working underground.
Until now, the draft law has not yet been discussed by the relevant parliamentary committees, to then be put forward for a vote in Parliament.