Some 250 employees of state oil company Albpetrol have protested today to oppose the reduction of salaries and the dismissal of colleagues.
Workers at the Fier oil field say they have been at work every day, in difficult conditions and even in the absence of public transport. They said it is unfair to decrease their wages by as much as 60%, despite them working 16 hour days.
Others have been notified by the company administrator that they will lose their job. Many of those who are now jobless have worked for Albpetrol for over 30 years.
Employees expressed their anger that Albpetrol is being run by “specialists from Tirana” who don’t know what work is being done on the ground. They called on Prime Minister Edi Rama and Minister of Infrastructure Belinda Balluku to take immediate measures to stop the decisions made by Albpetrol executives.
In late April, Albpetrol cut off oil supplies because the wells were full. Ballaku said that this was due to the falling price of oil on the international market.
The price of oil in the foreign market is at its lowest level in history as a result of declining demand combined with rising reserves. The price per barrel has fallen to a negative level.
This drop in demand and prices has come as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as most people are in quarantine. With oil consumption rates low, reserves have exceeded their carrying capacity.