Albania: Second Working Group meeting on informal economy

The Working group for the implementation of the national programme in the framework of the PERC-FNV Project “CEE/NIS: Promoting rights of and representing workers engaged in informal labour relations” was organised as a follow up of the first ITUC/PERC – BSPSH and KSSH Working group meeting on informal economy, held in March 2008, in Tirana and of the CEE regional thematic workshop on informal economy held on 25-26 of June in Brussels, that the representatives of the KSSH and BSPSH from Albania have attended and where the recommendations on the future work in this filed, national analyses on informal economy and action plans were discussed and formulated.

PERC-FNV Project “CEE/NIS: Promoting rights of and representing workers engaged in informal labour relations”

The joint BSPSH and KSSH working group meeting was organised in the Center for Training and Qualification, in Tirana, on 18 of February 2009.The meeting gathered nine participants, members of the Working group from the Textile, Agriculture, Construction and Wood Trade Unions, TU experts and representative of the Women structure. Jasmin Redzepovic, ITUC/PERC SEE Office Team coordinator participated on the meeting, too.

The objective of the meeting was to discuss the preparation of the national study – survey/mapping paper on informal economy and to define main orientation of the action plans on informal economy for the period in 2009 and 2010.

The KSSH and BSPSH leadership consider the work in the filed of protecting workers rights and interest in the informal economy in Albania as one of the main priorities, which is high on the agenda of the ILO Decent work country program in which the Trade Unions participate.
The KSSH and BSPSH working group members reported on the activities over the last year on reducing the informal and undeclared work. The two Construction Trade Unions of KSAH and BSPSH signed in this period a cooperation agreement that defines the cooperation in protecting workers rights in the construction sector in the filed, at company and national level. This cooperation was stimulated by the FNV-PERC project and the recently launched ILO tripartite project on: “Strengthening Social Partnership in Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro” – Informal economy in the Construction sector. Contacts with the Association of Employers in the Construction sector of Albania and the Construction TUs were established. The global economic crises might lead to serious consequences in the construction sector in Albania.
The BSPSH Agriculture TU president informed the participants on the work of this new Trade Union organisation that is organising farmers and workers in the fishing industry. The main objective of the Agriculture TU is the signing of collective agreements and protection of workers rights trough organising.

The representatives of the KSSH and BSPSH Textile, Leader, Shows industry TU of Albania stressed that around 30% of workers in the textile industry of Albania are organised into three existing Trade Unions. Many of them are small sized enterprises of which many are still not registered. The main three objectives of the Textile workers are to reduce the undeclared work, to eliminate child labour and to engage in collective bargaining at all levels.

The BSPSH and KSSH Textile workers TUs organised actions on protecting women workers rights in the textile sector. The KSSH Women network representative briefed on the different TU action directed on protection of women and youth workers rights, stressing the good cooperation of the women structures of the BSPSH and KSSH.

Over the last year the joint BSPSH and KSSH Working group was established, composed of six members, three from each confederation. Some data were collected and the national mapping paper is under preparation. It was agreed that the ITUC PERC SEE Office and the PERC-FNV project coordinator, Sergejus Glovaskas will provide updated information about the project implementation with the aim to assist the KSSH and BSPSH working group to prepare the national mapping paper and action plan. The draft national mapping paper will be prepared till the 20th of March and the Working group will discuss it on the 5th of April with the aim to prepare the national action plan till 15 of April 2009. Prof. K. Petkov, scientific project tutor will provide feedback on the mapping paper. The national action plan will include an information campaign, national thematic workshop, organising seminars and tripartite roundtables. The ITUC Guide on informal economy will be translated and printed in Albanian language.

3 March 2009