The alarm was raised early, but it is only now that it is being heard, at a time when the state and businesses are desperate for workers. The country is in a labor shortage as of May 1, 2023, and the government has begun to respond with salary rise decisions. However, how are these efforts reflected in the labor market?
“We still don’t understand why cleaning workers’ salaries are still 27,000 ALL; we still don’t understand why they are paid below the minimum wage,” says for A2 CNN Adela Dosti from “Social Justice.”
“Give us what we deserve. Going out in the heat, rain, or snow for 27 thousand lek. We are not asking for anything more than what belongs to us,” says Pranvera, a cleaning worker in Elbasan.
Employees in other industries, such as the garment industry and call centers, have reported similar issues.
“I am a mother of four children, and their gaze is fixed on me. What should I tell them, and what should I give them with what I am paid?” Adelina asks.
“After no warning, I was fired only because I had a claim on the salary and working conditions in the company where I was,” claims Altini, a Call Center employee.
Workers’ union leaders gathered at Tirana’s Pedonale square, and handed a list of requests to the government and institutions.
“We want the employment contract to be implemented, for the salary level and working hours to be respected, and for the government to be closer to the employees,” says Gertjana Hasalla of the Center for Rights at Work.
Due to emigration, primarily of young people, about 100,000 vacancies exist in the country’s economic sectors. Fashion is at the top of the list, followed by tourism, construction, agriculture, and services.