Trade unions got just a little more than an hour to meet Viktor Orbán and express their opinion in two minutes. They all refused to accept the proposed abolition of exemption by age for pensions. Péter Szijjártó, the prime minister’s spokesman said that pensions for all law-enforcement workers, who are under the age of 57, would be renamed an allowance, which would then be taxable.
On Monday, the parliament took the first steps towards abolishing these pensions and transforming them into social benefits. In the end, a deal could not be thrashed out. Géza Pongó, secretary general of the Independent Police Trade Union, said that what happened to them was only the tip of the iceberg as the government was determined to change the whole pension system from 2012, and to introduce such disadvantageous methods that would keep them in employment for as long as possible. As far as union leaders are concerned, the negotiations are over – at least as regards the exemption by age for pensions. Kornél Árok, head of the Independent Trade Union of Professional Fire Fighters, said that it was senseless to carry on negotiations; instead they would organize a mass demonstration under the title “Clown Revolution”. (PM Orbán cynically told protestors that he would refer their demands to the state secretary responsible for clown affairs). Also, union workers would use every legal opportunity to prevent the government from laying their hands on their already deposited pensions. The Independent Police Trade Union also says that negotiations are over since they cannot back the proposals of the government, neither the ones that affect those in active employment, nor those affecting the already retired. In the former case the possibility of exemption by age for pensions would be abolished; in the latter, pensions would be lowered and taxed to spur people to take up work again. Negotiations are forthcoming about the career options of law-enforcement workers, which will be coordinated by the Ministry of Interior. Trade unions will also participate in the upcoming talks.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 June 2011 19:35