Labour laws spark protest in Hungary

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Publication Date 18/12/2018
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On 12 December 2018 the Hungarian Parliament passed a set of controversial laws that sparked multiple protests in Budapest. The new labour laws, passed by the ruling coalition, changed the maximum annual overtime hours that employers can demand from 250-400 and expanded the time period for calculating overtime payments to three years. The ruling coalition also voted to create a new administrative court that is overseen by the Justice minister.

The Government argued to be acting in the name of the people, as the new labour laws benefit those who want to work more hours and employers who need more workers.

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Trade unions and opposition parties have demanded the dismissal of the new labour laws. Consequently, multiple protests erupted in Budapest following the approval of the new laws. On Sunday 16 December 2018, 150,000 protested against the right-wing government. The protesters demanded the withdrawal of a new labour law, for independent public media and courts and for Hungary to join the European Union’s prosecutors office.

Opposition members tried to read out their petition on the state TV, but they were blocked by security staff.

Earlier reforms, made by the right-wing government since its re-election 2018, triggered Article 7 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

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