Hungary

4

Systematic violations of rights

Same as last year

Region:Europe

Workers' rights violations

Union busting

In Hungary, employers in the industrial sector misused the procedure for trade union leave, by which a trade union representative must first receive permission from his/her employer to take leave, and arbitrarily refused to grant time off for trade union activities. This practice was in clear violation of the laws that set detailed and restrictive conditions under which employers can reject the request.

Right to collective bargaining

In Hungary, trade unions observed that some employers in the automotive sector had introduced organisational measures unilaterally, without consultation with the relevant trade unions. In the railway sector, employers purposely delayed negotiations. Rejecting or not responding to unions’ invitations for consultation on wages was also common practice in the country.

Additionally, when unions reported violations of collective agreements, employers sometimes threatened workers with the unilateral termination of established collective agreements. This was the case in 2022 where an employer renounced the collective agreement in force, which contained several provisions on dismissals, just before announcing collective redundancies.

Dismissals for participating in strike action

The right to strike in Hungary’s public education sector has been heavily restricted by the government in retaliation against the increasing dissatisfaction of teachers and their earlier strike actions. A temporary government decree was issued in February 2022, ordering that supervision in early childhood facilities had to be fully maintained, thereby forcing workers back in schools. Similar provisions were made for elementary and secondary schools. The decree also stipulated that workers who had declared being on strike would not receive their remuneration, despite being present. In late 2022, these temporary regulatory provisions were converted into law (Act V of 2022), thereby crushing any future attempt at organising strike action in the public education sector.

Workers’ rights in law

All countries