President of the Federation of Chemical, Energy and General Workers of Hungary Tamás Székely explained that more and more Hungarian workers have left the country to take up employment in Romania. Higher Romanian wages and deteriorating working conditions in the Continental plant in Makó both contribute to this trend.
The coronavirus pandemic has had considerable consequences regarding the labour market in Hungary; many people have lost their employment, and the hiring of staff was stopped or paused. The pandemic has disrupted healthcare services and medical treatments and has imposed crisis on the health market and the pharmaceutical sector. Numerous operations have been cancelled or postponed, and medication habits have changed. As we have reported, there is labour shortage in the manufacturing and catering industries, and the tourism and the automotive industry are also facing serious challenges. Teachers are also dissatisfied: their salaries are so low that many of them have a problem making ends meet. According to Magyar Hang, the Teachers’ Union has recently petitioned for a salary increase, but Minister for Families Katalin Novák told RTL that the economic situation did not allow it.
In addition to these problems, President of the Federation of Chemical, Energy and General Workers of Hungary Tamás Székely drew attention to the fact that
an increasing number of Hungarian workers in the Makó region have decided to take up employment in Romania due to the higher wages offered there.
Székely also told Népszava that there has been a deterioration in working conditions in the Continental plant in Makó, as the recently introduced new code of conduct states that workers can only initiate a conversation with the prior written permission of the employer. The company argued that the ban on conversations was introduced because several accidents occurred due to non-compliance with occupational safety, but measures like this can cause further problems in employment.
There has been an increasing struggle to find workers in this sector, especially in this region,
The way the government passes legislations and amendments also has an effect on employer satisfaction; if the cabinet approves legislations without any consultation (for example, in 2018, when the Hungarian Labour Code was amended without prior consultation with trade unions), it can backfire at the company level. Experience has shown that employee satisfaction is higher in workplaces where a collective agreement is signed by the employer, ensuring good working conditions.