The hunger strike in Ballsh is continuing into the seventh day. A week ago, the male protestors who had been on hunger strike for almost three weeks were replaced by female employees. Their health had reached a critical level.
The women yesterday said that when they are no longer able to strike, they will be replaced by their children.
But the condition of the women is not good at the moment. Doctors have called for an end to the hunger strike, particularly because of the COVID-19 pandemic and a decrease in temperatures over night.
The protestors have refused to entertain the idea of stopping until their demands are met. They say that they are owed over one year of salary and that the company supposedly running the refinery has disappeared.
Naftëtarët duhet të dalin nga greva që të bisedojmë për të mos i lënë vetëm në këtë hall që as e ka shkaktuar qeveria, as zgjidhet me presion e me ultimatume! Ne nuk kemi shkop magjik, po kemi gjithë vullnetin të lehtësojmë situatën. Me logjikë dhe solidaritet si një familje.
— Edi Rama (@ediramaal) October 21, 2020
Prime Minister Edi Rama had previously absolved himself of responsibility for those striking. He called for dialogue instead. Today, he reiterated his comments adding that the problem is not solved with “pressure and ultimatums”. He said the government doesn’t have a magic want and they have to alleviate the situation with “logic and solidarity”.