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De-carbonization and climate denial populism in Valea Jiului

On February 15, 2021, over 100 miners in Lupeni mine in Valea Jiului (Jiu Valley) – a mine that is still functioning but that is earmarked for closure following negotiation with the European Union – refused to come out when their shift ended and declared a strike. In the following days, hundreds of miners in […]

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Elton Debreshi: the way to Parliament passes through trade union organizing

The candidacy of Elton Debreshi – a mineworker from a peripheral town north of the country – in the upcoming general elections in Albania could be genuinely considered as an unwarranted intrusion into politics as usual. Thirty years after the collapse of the old regime, the political scenery has crystalized into the systemic rule of […]

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The Wonder That Brings Hope: The Union Candidate in Albania’s Parliamentary Elections

It is these conditions that prompt the need for a reliable and hopeful alternative. Elton Debreshi is such an alternative. A figure with the potential to challenge the hegemony of the corrupt power and bring hope to all the marginalized social groups. It is not his political ambition that pushes him to the podium of the parliament, but the historical demand of miners and citizens for a real and honest representation. A representation intact from the influence of criminal groups, violence and dubious businesses. Elton Debreshi has, for many years, sustained through his work the system that produces goods, on behalf of the oligarchs. Now it is time to seek on behalf of the city of Bulqiza the fair share of those people who work and live on a rich land, blessed with chromium, but spend their lives in poverty.

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There is power in a union: Reflections on the Albanian miners’ struggle

Wealth concentrates while poverty spreads. While gravitational forces cause objects to fall toward the earth, market forces cause value to fall by the same place with orthodox rigorosity, year after year. The pattern is however cyclically interrupted. Social movements, financial crisis and technical advancements trigger systemic changes that open the way toward the reconstruction and […]

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Anger from the underground: Bulgarian miners in wildcat strike

Note from the LeftEast editors: we republish this material originally posted  by evgeni5150 on libcom.org  The miners from Obrochishte – the third largest manganese mine in the world, located in eastern Bulgaria, went on wildcat strike on 01.06.2017. The strike was supported by the anarchosyndicalists from ARS (Avtonomen Rabotnicheski Sindikat / Autonomous Workers Union), while the bureaucratic union […]

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Workers in the New Turkey

Note from the LeftEast editors: this article by Daniel Johnson was originally published on Jacobin. Already a country hostile to workers, Turkey has now effectively banned the strike. For a moment in May 2014, following a mine explosion that killed 301 coal miners in the western Turkish city of Soma, international attention was focused on the plight […]

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Old wounds revealed as Romanian court re-opens miners’ case

Note from the LeftEast editors: this article is published in cooperation with the Serbo-Croatian web portal Bilten.Org  In recent weeks the miners are back again: This time not on the streets, but on the public agenda. The Romanian High Court, following a decision of the European Court of Human Rights reopened the file dealing with […]