International trade unions to support the Wage Union initiative

The trade unions supporting the European Citizens’ Initiative have formed a Citizens’ Campaign Committee for a European Wage Union, which will be actively involved in collecting the statements of support, Jobbik MP Márton Gyöngyösi and trade union leader Tamás Bajzik announced in their joint press conference in Budapest. Emphasizing that the inclusion of “equal pay for equal work” in the EU Treaties as a fundamental right was a realistic goal, Mr Gyöngyösi stated it was not a matter of ideology to try and eliminate the wage inequalities negatively affecting Eastern Central Europe.

Márton Gyöngyösi and Tamás Bajzik (Photo: Balázs Béli/Alfahír)

The MP asserted that the whole region was suffering from such problems as emigration, impoverishment and a demographic crisis, which require a closer cooperation of citizens. “We must enhance social dialogue, this matter should not be monopolized by politicians,” Mr Gyöngyösi explained why Jobbik had suggested to involve trade unions in the Wage Union campaign back in September. This is how the Citizens’ Campaign Committee was formed, an independent organization that coordinates efforts to accomplish the initiative’s goals. The unions will also involve their international connections to promote the project.

Stop "hand drain"

President of the National Trade Union and board member of the campaign committee Tamás Bajzik stated that the body had been formed by 9 founding organizations, including ones with significant international connections. Explaining why his association joined the initiative, the trade unionist said they were aware of the massive emigration of workers that was so clearly manifested in the reducing membership, increasing overtime hours and a chronic shortage of professionals.

In Mr Bajzik’s opinion, if all EU citizens have the right to work in another member state, they must also be granted the right to make an honest living for themselves and their families in their own homeland. Repeating his statements made in an interview for The Telegraph, he said the westward brain drain had recently been complemented by a “hand drain”, where Hungarian physical workers have also been leaving for Western Europe in large numbers.

Answering a media question, he said the participants were conducting a vivid campaign for the wage union by organizing rallies, discussions and collecting statements of support from citizens. Mr Bajzik reassured the public that statements of support were collected in line with the strictest data privacy regulations.


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