The Diber miners’ struggle to have their voice represented in the upcoming Albanian parliamentary elections is not merely a local issue. It transcends borders and languages in order to bring to the fore a burning matter: the rights of those who work for a living and fight for a just society.
In the midst of a pandemic that has hit hardest the weakest in our societies, it has been the workers – alongside doctors – who have paid the highest price. During lockdown, while the rest of us were sitting comfortably in our homes, it was the miners and factory workers who were being crammed like cattle in closed workspaces, to produce goods that were non-essential to the needs of the society, but absolutely vital to the profits of their owners.
Evermore in our societies we are witnessing the implementation of laws that destroy trade union rights, collective bargaining and women’s rights at work. Evermore we attest to the rise of a business elite that operates above the law and generates unprecedented wealth for the few, while imposing destitution for the many – socialism for the rich, austerity for everyone else.
The candidacy of Elton Debreshi is not a simple attempt at political representation, but the roaring voice of an active majority that has been silenced for too long. This is not the end, but a stepping stone in the long struggle for trade union organising and workers’ rights – a struggle that must be embraced by workers around the world.
If democracy is to flourish everywhere, democratising the workplace will be absolutely critical.
This is a joint statement by DiEM25, MeRA25, Elton Debreshi – United Miners of Albania Trade Union (SMBB) and independent candidate, and Redi Muçi – Organizata Politike
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