Albanian military sent to main airport to end air traffic control strike
Albania sends troops to end airport strike.
The Albanian military were sent into Tirana International Airport on the evening of April 7 to confront striking air traffic controllers in the control tower.
Within hours flights resumed with no injuries or arrests reported.
It is unclear how flights resumed as the civilian air traffic controllers were not replaced by members of the military.
The strike was announced after five air traffic controllers were laid off, with those staying on receiving a pay cut by around two thirds since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Their list of requests includes the return of their colleagues to work, restoration of full salaries and financial transparency for 2021.
Prime Minister Edi Rama slammed the “hardline” controllers in a tweet, writing: “Serious sabotage of the activity of Mother Teresa Airport will not be tolerated!”
Rama also accused the opposition party having orchestrated the strike in an attempt to prevent Covid-19 deliveries into the country, thus undermining his government.
In a Facebook post, Defence Minister Niko Peleshi said: “Rinas Airport Mother Teresa is a strategic object of special importance for national security.
“Our Armed Forces structures, as an integral part of the airport, have increased vigilance to ensure the maintenance of the airport security perimeter especially after the boycott of work by the controllers of the civil aviation company Albcontrol.”