How can the wage union help us eliminate wage inequalities within Hungary?
According to the report of Hungary’s Central Statistical Office, net average wages in Eastern Hungary are barely more than half of the salaries in Western Hungary. Although the unemployment rate has shown a decreasing trend, wage differences still persist in terms various counties.
Regionally varying wages pose a challenge in Hungary as well as in many other EU member states. The primary goal of the Wage Union Initiative is to eliminate wage inequalities between Europe’s eastern and western side but the reduction of domestic regional wage differences is an equally important goal in the context of ensuring “equal pay for equal work”.
While the appropriate use of cohesion funds and an economic policy helping underdeveloped regions may significantly improve the situation, the scope of the Wage Union is also fully in line with the efforts to help underprivileged regions within each member state to converge. Of course, it is impossible to create completely identical conditions in all of Hungary’s regions but leading regions may still have a positive impact on others and help bring wage levels higher even in those underprivileged areas. Hungary especially suffers from domestic wage inequalities as the average income in our wealthiest counties is still below the European average while the figures related to our poorest areas are just unworthy of the European Union and the ideas that the Union is based on.
MP Márton Gyöngyösi, representative of the Citizens’ Committee for a European Wage Union