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CESI supports the protest of the Hungarian Trade Unions


16 Sep 2011


Global Europe
Social Europe & Jobs

“The Hungarian government is badly mistaken, if it thinks that Europe will be turning a blind eye following its Council Presidency,“ said Helmut Müllers, General Secretary of CESI, on the occasion of a major trade union demonstration in Budapest. The Hungarian labour organisations, such as MKKSZ and KSZSZ, protested on Sep-tember 12th against the policies of the Orbán Government. “The two-thirds majority enjoyed by Viktor Orbán is reforming the country in a way that is causing great concern to many observers,” according to Müllers. “There is no longer any social dialogue with the unions; democratic principles and the rule of law are being ignored in Budapest. The government should come to its senses,” the CESI-General Secretary demanded.

On September 12th, several thousand workers came together to form a human chain in front of the parliament building as a sign of protest against the policies of their government. The unions are fighting the restrictions imposed upon their rights. Their protest is directed in particular against a new labour code that is intended to restrict those rights still further: “It is unacceptable that civil servants in Hungary are being dismissed simply because they are engaging in trade union activities,“ said Helmut Müllers. The CESI-General Secretary called upon the European Commission to pay increased attention to what was happening in Hungary. The new press laws, restricting the freedom of the press in Hungary, are not the only problem. The Government’s latest initiative, to announce to Hungarian nationals a partial cancellation of their debts towards foreign creditors, is simply unbelievable. 

CESI General Secretary Müllers criticised in particular the climate of fear predominant among those workers who are engaged in trade union activities, especially those in the public service. “We hear that the trade unions are losing huge numbers of members, who fear harassment owing to their membership in a trade union. That is a shocking state of affairs in a country that is a member of the EU." Müllers assumes that pressure from European public opinion could help to cause the government to re-enter into a dialogue with the trade unions. “I cannot believe that there are no reasonable people in the FIDESZ-Party or among the Christian Democrats," says Müllers.



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