From: Alice Taylor
More Hunger Strikers Hospitalised in Ballsh

The condition of the oil workers currently on hunger strike over unpaid wages continues to deteriorate rapidly.

Now on the 15th day of refusing food, three have been hospitalised. Union leader, Sokol Dautaj was hospitalised for heart problems but then returned to the strike. They have stopped drinking water and have cut off contact with family members.

This is the second time in a year that they’ve resorted to hunger strike after the company that runs the Ballsh oil refinery failed to pay them. They have repeatedly called on Prime Minister Edi Rama to intervene and force the company to pay them what they are owed.

Rama said he is not responsible and that there is no need for a hunger strike and dialogue should be encouraged instead.

The protestors have now threatened to enter the refinery by force tomorrow, if their demands are not met. They called for a meeting with the Deputy of the area, Ismet Beqiri, who was the previous director of the Ballsh Refinery and is famliar with the issue. Beqiri, despite being in the areaa for electoral meetings yesterday, refused to meet them.