- 25 Nov 2016 8:00 AM
The possibility of raising wages is not the result of favourable global economic trends or luck, nor was it “given to us by the IMF”, he said.
The precondition for the deal was a healthy labour market and a “functioning economy”. He said the matter of raising wages was not one of “goodwill” but rather a matter of economic competitiveness. He said the future depended on whether employers and employees could agree on the view that only efficient companies are capable of raising wages.
Orbán said that although regional inequality is a factor in Hungary’s labour market and employees may not always get to work the jobs they want, “we can say that anyone willing to work in Hungary can find themselves a job.”
He said Thursday’s deal laid the groundwork for Hungary’s “entry into the new industrial revolution” and for ensuring that the country has a chance to be competitive in the technological race.
National Federation of Workers’ Councils (MOSZ) head Imre Palkovics called the wage agreement the “final act” of Hungary’s change of regime.
He said the government’s plan to reach a 30-40% rise in real wages by the end of the six-year cycle would take “a lot of work”. He stressed the importance of increasing wages above the minimum wage level, too.
Palkovics said unions had long been fighting to ensure that the net minimum wage equals the subsistence level.
Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.
MTI photo: Máthé Zoltán