The opposition Socialist Party has penned a letter to the president of Japanese auto maker 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.
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. 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.
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. 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”.