Clearly, being an onboard conductor in Hungary is not the safest job, at all. In fact, the Trade Union of Railway Workers complained about the Harlem-like working conditions. According to Hungarian State Railways (MÁV), on average a conductor was attacked every fourth day – reported hvg.hu. To make matters worse, one-third of these cases happened on the Budapest-Cegléd-Szolnok line.
The VP of the trade union became furious
It is safer to walk on the streets of Harlem wearing a Rolex than being a conductor on the trains of MÁV-Start, the Hungarian railway company – said the vice-president of the Trade Union of Railway Workers. MÁV reacted on his discontent now.
As they wrote to hvg.hu, passengers attacked conductors 87 times in 2017. They were mostly slapped on the face, spit at, or they suffered verbal aggression. However, sometimes even
brute force was used against them.
For example, it happened that some passengers threatened conductors with a knife, beat or kicked them and hindered their free movement. In fact, 3/4th of the perpetrators wanted to travel without a valid ticket.
Approximately 70% of the insults happened in the suburban lines connecting Budapest and the towns and settlements of Pest County. In this category, the first place goes to the Budapest–Cegléd–Szolnok line where 36% of the atrocities happened. According to the MÁV, Pécs and Szombathely together with the Southern and Western parts of the country are the safest regions in this regard.
75 reports reached the police last year.
In one case there is already a court decision while others are still in the judicial phase.
MÁV tries to protect its workers
According to MÁV, they try to protect their workers with contracts with the police or the militia. Furthermore, they also pay a security staff, and they completed important security investments, as well. Moreover, they concentrate on helping processes initiated because of the crimes committed against their workers.
Based on MÁV’s data, 80 thousand trains are accompanied by security staff while police officers secure 8,000-8,500 of them. Meanwhile, MÁV is now testing a
body camera system for the conductors.
This can be implemented in the suburban trains this year. Moreover, the company is trying to find 60 more conductors. Thus, nobody would work alone. Finally, they plan to send their conductors on conflict resolution training in August.
Featured image: Magyar Nemzet/Székelyhidi Balázs