Labour shortage affects Magyar Posta greatly
Magyar Posta is greatly affected by labour shortage. It is more and more difficult to find letter-carriers

As we reported, most companies in Hungary are struggling with labour shortage hindering their economic growth. State-owned firms are no exceptions. According to, chairman of National Federation of Workers’ Councils Imre Palkovics said that companies alone cannot solve this problem. Therefore they need governmental help – he added. According to leading opposition party, Jobbik, labour shortage can only be dealt with by implementing wage union. This European citizen’s initiative aims to increase salaries in Eastern-European countries. As a result, mass emigration from the Eastern countries might stop – based on their opinion.

Despite pay increase labour shortage is still a problem

To start with, new negotiations are about to start regarding pay increase of the employees working for state-owned companies. According to,

there will be an average of 12% increase for those working for a public firm next year.

In fact, a wage-contract was already signed last year containing an average of 30% salary increase for postal, public transport, railway and water industry employees. Moreover, salaries grew 13-15% this year, as well.

However, labour shortage still causes huge problems.

Palkovics said that they initiated a forum to be summoned following the example of the already functioning regular negotiation forum between the government and the private sector. According to him, this can start its work in January. Here not only representatives of state-owned companies and the Ministry for National Development, but also trade unions could take part. Palkovics added that they have already worked together regarding the wage-contract last year.

Governmental help needed

Palkovics highlighted that

nobody can solve labour shortage on a company level.

Thus, they need the support of the government to find a solution together.

As an example he mentioned state-owned Volánbusz Transport Company where even international demand for bus drivers is high. In addition, the company has to compete with offers coming from the private sector. Unfortunately, they are losing in this competition even though there will be a 10-12% rise in salaries next year.

According to Palkovics broadening fringe benefits, house allowances, medical insurances might help together with implementing further social measures.

However, further increase of wages is inevitable.

Wage union might be a solution?

A solution could be wage union for labour shortage in Hungary which aims to

raise Eastern-European wages to Western-European level.

International press conferenc on wage union in Brussels
International press conference on wage union in Brussels / photo:

As a result, fewer would go abroad for higher salaries, so labour shortage would not hinder Hungarian economy. At least, this is the standpoint of many economists and biggest opposition party Jobbik who started the European citizen’s initiative in Hungary. However, due political reasons government does not support wage union.


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