IndustriAll European Trade Union has written to Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán to express concern about his latest governmental decrees.

We are particularly concerned about §1 (1) of the governmental decree (104/2020) that allows employers the opportunity to unilaterally extend the previously agreed working time frame up to 24 months and to by-pass provisions laid down previously in collective agreements.

The Social Partners were not consulted - the measures were merely announced at the Permanent Consultation Forum of the Private Sector and Government on 15 April 2020.

It is clear that governments in Europe must take extraordinary measures to fight the corona virus, to protect the health and safety of their citizens and to sustain their economies. IndustriAll Europe emphasises however, that such measures must be temporary, proportionate, and not go beyond what is necessary. Once the crisis is overcome, existing standards and rights must be reinstated. Any new regulations on working time and rest periods must be negotiated between social partners! 

As a member of the European Union we insist that Hungary must ensure that its government and all public institutions are accountable under the rule of law and that laws effectively protect fundamental rights.

IndustriAll Europe therefore calls on the Hungarian government to uphold fundamental labour rights and workers’ health and safety rights in conformity with its international commitments. Most importantly, we urge the Hungarian government to reinstall social dialogue and clear the path for genuine collective bargaining to take place!

Please find the full letter here.

Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley, press and communication