10 January 2006
The trade unions and the employers' organisations in the Hungarian construction industry started negotiations for a sectoral collective agreement in 1995. After a series of failures, a new impetus was gained when the sectoral bipartite social dialogue committee for the construction industry was set up within the framework of a PHARE project designed to strengthen autonomous social dialogue (HU0212106F ). Another, and yet more important encouragement came from the government campaign called '100 steps' launched in June 2005, with measures to tackle undeclared work. (HU0506101N ) The bargaining parties renewed negotiations to seal a sectoral collective agreement which, especially if it is extended to the whole industry, will be an important step in reducing undeclared work in the industry. (HU0506105F )  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/project-seeks-to-strengthen-autonomous-social-dialogue-at-sector-level  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/100-steps-program-the-government-has-announced-a-widespread-reform-package-of-world-of-work-welfare  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/sectoral-bargaining-now-on-the-agenda-in-construction-industry
09 January 2006
An important element of the Hungarian industrial relations system is that the tripartite National Interest Reconciliation Council (Országos Érdekegyeztető Tanács, OÉT) sets annually the national minimum wage and issues to lower-level bargaining parties a recommendation for wage increases. The annual round of negotiations between the government, employers’ associations and trade unions is one of the key fields for the social partners to influence macroeconomic and labour market processes (HU0502105F ).  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/activities-of-national-tripartite-body-in-2004-reviewed
21 December 2005
In the course of Hungary's transition from the state-socialist system to parliamentary democracy, the employers’ organisations that existed under the socialist regime had to face the disappearance of their exclusive and monopolistic privileges in the representation of business interests. The socialist-era associations used to organise distinct segments of the economy that were separated artificially by the regime following the socialist notion of ownership-types - such as state-owned companies, industrial cooperatives and private micro firms. Membership was practically compulsory. However, the negotiated nature of the transition made it possible for the employers' bodies to reform themselves in order to preserve organisational continuity and to adapt to the new environment. At the same time, new organisations were set up to represent new interest groups. This dual process has resulted in a highly fragmented representation structure of business interests.
07 December 2005
The Speaker of the Parliament handed over the members of the Health Insurance Controlling Body (Egészségbiztosítási Ellenörző Testület, EET) and Pension Insurance Controlling Body (Nyugdíjbiztosítási Ellenőrző Testület, NYET) the letters of appointment. As required by Act LXXII of 2005 passed on 27 July 2005, EET has 9 members and NYET has 11 members. Both national level trade union confederations and employers’ associations nominated 3 members to each board. The government delegated 3 members to each body, and the Council for Senior Citizens (Idősügyi Tanács), a forum for civil organizations, delegated two members to NYET.
04 December 2005
In early 2005, four sectoral social dialogue committees (in metalworking, engineering, chemicals and hotels/catering) (HU0212106F ) jointly proposed examining the practices of companies that do not adhere to the legal regulations on temporary agency work (HU0412102F ), and then to amend these regulations via either legislation or collective agreements. The social partners involved were particularly critical of temporary work agencies that use undeclared labour, and of abuses by user companies, especially using agency workers on a permanent basis and setting up subsidiary companies specialised in providing the parent company with agency workers. Sectoral trade unions envisaged: certain restrictions on the use of temporary agency work, for instance on the length or number of contracts between the same agencies and user companies; the establishment of criteria for the cases in which temporary agency workers may be used; or a complete ban on using temporary agency work in the core activities of certain industries. Legal experts working for the sectoral social dialogue committees proposed legislative changes in the following fields: equal treatment of agency workers and regular employees; ways to prevent abuses; the relationship between collective agreements and temporary work agencies; and possibilities to enhance the enforcement of the law on the collective representation of workers  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/project-seeks-to-strengthen-autonomous-social-dialogue-at-sector-level  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/temporary-agency-work-examined
08 November 2005
The pluralist structure of Hungarian unions is recognised as one of the most important features of the industrial relations system. There are six national level trade union confederations and allegedly around 800 independent unions against a decreasing union membership. Most unionists agree that the divided nature of the union movement is a major obstacle to developing effective employee representation and organising new members. For a long time, smaller national level confederations have been under pressure to increase their membership through amalgamations. The biggest membership confederations have repeatedly called for the re-regulation of the rules of the National Interest Reconciliation Council (Országos Érdekegyeztető Tanács, OÉT), the national level tripartite body, to tie the presence and voting weight of each union confederation to its size of membership.
30 October 2005
The state authority in charge of supervising employment conditions as well as health and safety issues at the workplace is the Hungarian Labour Inspectorate (Országos Munkabiztonsági és Munkaügyi Felügyelet, OMMF ), which was established in the mid-1980s. With democratisation and the transition to market economy, the inspectors’ entitlements and the related procedures have changed many times, and are currently regulated by Act LXXV of 1996. Presently, the law on labour inspection is undergoing a significant modification once again. A bill is before parliament and the amendment is expected to come into effect on 1 January 2006.  http://www.ommf.hu/
11 October 2005
29 August 2005 the Budapest Labour Court cancelled the privatisation tender of the Budapest Airport Co  (Budapest Airport Rt) on grounds that the management had failed to inform and consult with the works council appropriately prior to issuing the tender invitation by the owner Hungarian Privatisation and State Holding Company (Állami Privatizációs és Vagyonkezelő Rt, ÁPV Rt ). (HU0509101F ). On the appeal filed by the Budapest Airport Co., the Court of the Capital City (Fővárosi Bíróság) as second instance court heard the case urgently. 22 September it upheld the ruling of the first instance labour court and declared the privatization tender for Budapest Airport invalid again. Therefore the whole tender process has to be restarted.  http://www.bud.hu/  http://www.apvrt.hu/  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/court-ruling-on-failure-to-consult-may-delay-budapest-airport-privatisation
20 September 2005
The privatisation process in Hungary, which started in the late 1980s and early 1990s, is nearing its end. The companies that still have state ownership are usually ones with a certain strategic importance, such as being vital for public transportation, like the Budapest Airport Co  (Budapest Airport Rt), which operates the capital city’s Ferihegy Airport. The Privatisation Act requires that at least 25% plus one share of Budapest Airport remain in state ownership. Nevertheless, the Hungarian Privatisation and State Holding Company (Állami Privatizációs és Vagyonkezelő Rt, ÁPV Rt ) decided to sell the shares of Budapest Airport over this limit, issued a call for tenders in June 2005 and shortlisted potential buyers.  http://www.bud.hu/  http://www.apvrt.hu/
14 August 2005
'Many small steps will open the road to real change and reform', outlined Hungary’s Prime Minister when he introduced the new 100 Steps Programme. The first 50 measures, or 'steps', were announced in May and June 2005, 15 of which will target the area of employment and labour (HU0506101N ). It is hoped that one of the new measures, the Premium Years Programme, will help both senior employees facing redundancy and companies in need of rejuvenation.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/100-steps-program-the-government-has-announced-a-widespread-reform-package-of-world-of-work-welfare