Several thousand Hungarians protested today in Budapest against a bill that increases the maximum number of possible overtime per year from 250 to 400, and also extends the deadline to pay up to three years, instead of the current 12 months.
"Protest against the law of slavery" has been the motto of the demonstration called by the Hungarian Confederation of Trade Unions (MSZSZ) and other trade organizations in the vicinity of the Parliament, and in which according to the organizers, 10,000 people participated.
The bill prepared by deputies of Fidesz, party of the prime minister, the nationalist Viktor Orbán, foresees the increase of the possible annual extra working hours from 250 to 400, which could mean in some cases that employees work six days a week .
In addition, the legislation would make it possible for employers to pay for these overtime hours up to 36 months later.
"The Government has contracted a secret pact with the capital," said László Kordás, president of the MSZSZ to the demonstrators, saying that the legislation obliges the Hungarians to accept "slavery", while other speakers denounced the lack of consultations with the unions and workers.
According to a recent survey by the Policy Agenda Institute, 83 percent of Hungarians reject legislation.
The government said in a statement that the reform of the labor law is aimed at making it possible for those who want to work and earn more to do so, eliminating bureaucratic barriers.
Hungary suffers, like other countries in the region, from lack of manpower.