In connection with protests by trade unions, Mr. Orbán said that he pays close attention to trade unions and respects them, but on this matter they are mistaken: overtime will be voluntary; the proposal protects workers; and it enables those who want to work more – and therefore earn more – to do so. This may not be in the interest of trade unions, he added, but it is in the best interest of workers – and the Government is on the side of workers.
Responding to the suggestion that employers may force employees to work overtime under threat of dismissal, the Prime Minister said that in Hungary today there is a labour shortage. Workers, he said, are protected by an economic policy which creates a demand for labour, and today workers can choose from among several alternatives. He stressed that “I’m working on ensuring that they have as many alternatives as possible to choose from, because […] then they will be better able to stand up for their interests.”
According to Mr. Orbán, the legislative amendment most helps those who work for small and medium-sized enterprises and who want to work more, but at present cannot do so “due to silly bureaucratic obstacles”.