Some 7,500 public employees have joined Thursday’s nationwide strike organised by the union of public service workers (MKKSZ), the head of the union said in Budapest. Launching the strike at a meeting of the local council of Budapest’s 15th district, Erzsébet Boros said it was important for society that the “workers comprising the driving force of the country” exercise their democratic rights. Among the union’s goals, she said, was to call the government’s attention to the fact that the base salaries of civil servants have stagnated for 11 years. Head of trade unions confederation MaSzSz László Kordás called for public and private sector unions to join forces so as to prevent workers falling victim to “salami tactics”. He said it was the struggles of the unions that had led to prosperity in western Europe. “Unions and workers in Hungary have also had enough of always backing down,” he added. He said the emergence of the “solidarity strike” would bring about a new phase in the struggle to enforce the interests of workers.