Ballsh Refinery Workers to Gov’t: Pay Us!

The refinery workers of oil company Armo have once again turned to the government with an appeal for help regarding their difficult working conditions and absence of salary payments. Through an open letter, around 800 of the workers from the refinery in Ballsh state that since the privatization of the company and the restart in 2016, the working conditions have worsened considerably:

The oil workers work under difficult circumstances, without drinking water, without technical safety, without medical care, without insurance. We seek an immediate intervention because our lives are put at risk.

In their letter, the oil workers raise another issue. From the period July 2015–July 2016 they have not been paid, even though the refinery worked during that period in full capacity.

Our salary from July 2015–July 2016 has been illegally withheld, even though we came at work, and the insurance and salary payments have been declared at the Tax Directorate.

The oil workers have continuously protested about this violation of their rights. In October 2016, during the visit of Prime Minister Rama at the reopening of the refinery, the workers were promised that the annual salaries of the 800 oil workers would be paid.

But today, one year later, the oil workers write that “the backpayments have not been made and we’re not even paid our monthly salaries.”

The oil workers call upon the government to solve this “difficult economic and psychological situation” and state that they will otherwise block the factory.