Dismissed trade union leader, Edit Juhaszné Kovács, with Tamás Székely of the Federation of Chemical Workers of Hungary

Global unions back reinstatement of Hungarian union leader

18.01.2017

IndustriALL Global Union is demanding the reinstatement of a union leader after she was illegally sacked for her trade union activities at an automotive supplier in Hungary.

Edit Juhaszné Kovács was dismissed by management at the Richard Fritz factory in Aszód on Friday 13 January. She was secretary of the Richard Fritz trade union AMASZ, as well as President of the Workers’ Council, and member of the Health and Safety Committee at the company.

AMASZ, which is affiliated to IndustriALL through the Federation of Chemical Workers of Hungary (VDSZ), represents 252 members of the approximately 400 employees at the factory.

The Richard Fritz group, which makes vehicle windows at plants in Germany, Slovakia and Hungary, is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Turkish company, Şişecam.

IndustriALL’s general secretary, Valter Sanches, has written to the CEO of Şişecam, Ahmet Kirman, saying:

“This dismissal constitutes a serious violation of the Hungarian Labour Code, international labour conventions, including Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize and Convention 98 on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining of the International Labour Organization (ILO), and Şişecam’s Code of Conduct.

“It is imperative that Şişecam intervene to ensure that Edit Juhaszné Kovács returns to work immediately, without any prejudice to her working conditions and fundamental labour rights.”

Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, has also sent a protest letter to Şişecam.

VDSZ is planning to organize a demonstration outside the Aszód plant on Tuesday 24 January.