Automobile manufacturer Suzuki has laid off 600 agency workers from its Esztergom plant, according to the temporary works agency involved. Many of the affected workers are from Eastern Hungary and from Ukraine.
The layoff came shortly after the decision by Suzuki on 18 March to stop production entirely due to the coronavirus outbreak for the period between 23 March and 3 April.
The Hungarian Metalworkers' Federation sent en open letter to both employers and to the government, criticising the company for the decision that all laid-off workers leave the worker hostel by the morning of 23 March, in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, with many workers having nowhere to go. Also the trade union called on the government to follow the example of neighbouring countries and cover the wages of those employees who are planned to be laid off, and to broaden the scope of employer and employee social contribution "holidays" that is presently limited to a few specific economic sectors.