Hungary: New act restricts worker representation in the law enforcement sector

In April, the Hungarian Parliament adopted a new act on the legal relationship of professional personnel of law enforcement services (Act XLII of 2015). The modifications will result in a greater burden for workers in the sector and also create a difficult situation for the operation of trade unions. Several trade unions have spoken out against tightening control over workers in the law enforcement sector.

Six trade unions spoke out against the new measurements, arguing that the new act undermines the activity of interest representation organisations. Furthermore, they claim that the act contains serious discriminatory provisions, does not guarantee the institutional conditions of sectoral social dialogue, and prohibits the activity of interest representation organisations at national security agencies. This could mean losing the right to the freedom to travel. Professional staff would have to report where and how they spend their free time and would be limited to using social network sites on the internet. Moreover, the new law would prohibit organising trade unions in national security agencies.

Trade unions concerned are planning to convene the National Interest Reconciliation Council for the Public Service (Országos Közszolgálati Érdekegyeztető Tanács, OKÉT) and to insist that their amendments to the draft are accepted.

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