“Set our Albanian colleagues free”, EU air traffic controllers appeal to Albanian authorities

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Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (ATCEUC) has demanded the “immediate” release of their Albanian colleagues arrested by the state police.

In a press release posted on their official Twitter page, the union said it is “horrified” by the recent news and “concerned for their welfare”.

“Albcontrol has unilaterally reduced the salaries of their employees by up to 70% without consulting or even talking to the Unions which represent their workers. Albcontrol has refused every request from the Unions to negotiate a responsible, collective agreement to resolve this crisis, a position which has put its employees under enormous additional stress in the midst of a global crisis”, read the statement.

Furthermore, ATCEUC called on EU institutions dealing with Albania to see this case “as a sign” that Albania “is not ready to join the European Union”.

“How can Albania see itself as worthy of a bright new future as an EU member when its reaction to workers pursuing their fundamental rights is to act in a way reminiscent of a dark Stalinist past that we hoped had been buried, and arrest those who oppose them?

The union is composed of 32 professional and autonomous trade unions and is a representative of over 14,000 Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) and Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel (ATSEPs) throughout Europe.

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