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Socialists Speak out for Hungarian Suzuki Factory Workers

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.08.07.

The opposition Socialist Party (MSZP) has penned a letter to the president of Japanese automaker Suzuki with the aim of protecting the rights of workers at the manufacturer’s Hungarian plant and will submit an amendment proposal to parliament in the matter, two of the party’s politicians said on Wednesday.

Imre Komjáthi, one of the party’s deputy leaders, told a press conference that though Suzuki was a strategic partner of the Hungarian government, the partnership agreement did not address the protection of Hungarian workers. The Socialist Party will, therefore, submit a bill to parliament in the autumn which will only allow the establishment of strategic partnerships with companies “that not only tolerate but also support the establishment of trade unions”, he said.

LMP: Govt’s Strategic Partner Suzuki Breaks Law with Impunity

Komjáthi noted that although a union was formed at the Suzuki factory in February, its secretary was laid off and escorted out of the building by security guards the following day. The employment lawsuit in the matter is still ongoing, he added.

He said the fact that the worker in question has still not been allowed to return to the factory, as well as Suzuki’s opposition to the formation of a union at the company went against both the constitution and the labour code.

Opposition MPs Fail to Make It Inside Suzuki Plant

Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi said that as vice-chair of the European Parliament’s transport committee, he had recently received a letter from Suzuki President Toshihiro Suzuki in which the president thanked him for his support of Hungary’s Suzuki plant in connection with the decision-making mechanism concerning the European Union’s carbon emission regulations.

Ujhelyi said that in his response letter, he had indicated to Suzuki that Hungary’s partnership with the Japanese carmaker would weaken if the factory infringed on the rights, interests, work environment and chances to form a union.

Zoltán Pogátsa: If Companies Are Becoming More Transitional, Then Trade Unions Must Act Transnationally

The MEP said he also asked Suzuki to order a probe into the situation of the Hungarian factory, arguing that the treatment of workers there was “unacceptable”.

In the featured photo: István Ujhelyi. Photo by Lajos Soós/MTI