We reject wage slavery and we want freedom for Hungarian workers!

As a socially sensitive national people’s party, Jobbik believes that labour is a key organizing force of our society. In a functional and thoughtfully governed country, labour can never lose its dignity otherwise this highly important pillar of the human community is shaken in its foundation. Of all OECD member states, Hungary has one of the most hard-working yet grossly underpaid labour force, regardless if they are exploited by the public sector or overworked by the competitive sphere. They are the ones who can never feel the kind of financial and moral appreciation that they rightfully deserve and could truly set them free.

At the dawn of Hungary’s democratization, anti-social Liberal extremists had already been lying to us about a premature welfare state and, since then, each of the reigning governments have bought into the false dogma of a competitiveness that is based on curbing workers’ rights. Not only did this approach fail to make Hungary’s economy competitive, but it even exacerbated the recurring problems of our society. Having lost nearly three decades since the so-called democratization, deprived by the multinational capital and the Hungarian oligarchs or exploited by the state and toiling at the very bottom of the production chain brought forth by the global division of labour, Hungarian workers finally want a liveable life.

However, they cannot lead a liveable life unless they are once and for all allowed to feel like a free person rather than an exploited working animal in their own country. They want to live in a community where people who put in an honest 8-hour day’s work can afford to have children, spend their one-week holiday at Lake Balaton and don’t have to choose between paying their utility bills and buying medicine. They want to live in a country where achieving a middle-class status is not a vain hope for an average worker but a realistic possibility because giving people this chance is not merely a political agenda but a fundamental interest of our society.

However, if there’s a country where workers are treated as wage slaves who are only needed for their low-paid physical labour but never for their creativity, where they have to bear the monotony and humiliation without a word of complaint and where, due to their legendary meekness, they might be used for cutting wood on their backs and where their livelihood is threatened on a daily basis, that country has no freedom!

We are not chasing impractical utopian dreams but there certainly is a much better alternative than the fiercest Neoliberal capitalism existing in Hungary; and that alternative is a humane, social market economy. This fundamental truth must be realized by the government; they must understand that the economy is for the people and not the other way round!

Swinging the slogan of labour flexibility as a club, the Fidesz government smashed down on trade union licences and nearly eliminated the possibility of a legal work stoppage by re-regulating the right for strike action, which is a key instrument for labour organizations. Hungarian workers need and deserve a better protection, so we are immediately launching a national coordination with opposition parties and trade unions in order to help workers regain their freedom. Our primary goals are to review the Labour Code’s discriminative provisions negatively affecting workers, to remedy the injustices incorporated in the regulation of the right for strike action and to develop a new Worker Safepack.

As a party for the people, we firmly believe that the trade unions that are independent both from the government and the political parties must become relentless advocates of workers’ rights in Hungary or else, lacking an efficient protection of their interests, workers will lose even more of their freedom and become even more vulnerable. Therefore it is Hungary’s national interest to reinforce trade unions and to restore workers’ rights and freedom. This is a step that can brook no further delay!

 

Tamás Sneider, President, Jobbik Movement for a Better Hungary