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Laki, Mihály
Nacsa, Beáta
Neumann, László
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
IEHAS Discussion Papers MT-DP - 2013/2
Abstract (Translated): 
The new Labor Code passed by the Parliament in 2012 has been the most important change of the regulation of labor relations in Hungary since 1992. This report summarizes the main results of a field work research which was managed by the Institute of Economics HAS and financed by the LIGA Trade Union a few months after the new code came into effect. Case studies based on interviews with union activists and with representatives of the management of 16 big or medium size companies were the basic source of information. Content analysis of articles, reports in newspaper and of texts on the internet, interpretation of legal sources were among the methods of research as well . The declared aim of the government (of the law maker) was to create a more flexible labor market which indirectly results in job creation. Unfortunately - mainly because of the time limits - we have not found any symptoms of such changes in the interviews and in the case studies. But we observed and registered the decline of the bargaining power of trade unions and deterioration of security of trade union activist. These development were direct and short term consequences of the new law which sharply restricted the room for maneuvering of the unions. Moreover, the new Labor Code modified negatively the labor conditions and the bargaining power of the individual employees as well. Not only the decreasing wages and salaries but the shortened allowances, the growing working time the worsening conditions of probation, severance pay and of firing (from the point of view of the employees) showed that the new Labor Code increased the power and the space of maneuver of the management and restricted these conditions of the employees. These changes were especially harsh at state owned companies, as for them the Code does not allow to deviate from certain mandatory regulations through collective agreements. On the other hand, we recognized that in a part of the companies the management implemented the new regulations very cautiously. It seemed that they prefer the balanced peaceful labor relations as a part of the company culture to the expected short-term profit increases.
labor-market regulation
trade unions
field work
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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