Hungary: Protests enter day 4 against controversial labour laws

Budapest: Leftist opposition parties and local citizens including students and trade unions took to streets for the fourth day here on Sunday (local time), protesting against the changes made in the labour laws by the Hungarian Parliament earlier this week.

Al Jazeera reported that the protests on Sunday, also dubbed as “Merry Xmas Mr Prime Minister”, by the demonstrators was the biggest protest held in the Hungarian capital till now. Thousands of people rallied before the Hungarian Parliament objecting to the rule of Prime Minister Viktor Orban and shouting slogans claiming “don’t steal” and “independent courts”.

People holding flags and banners of the European Union and Hungary not only demonstrated in the Hungarian capital but also in cities including Gyor, Szeged, Miskolc and Debrecen.

The supposed right-wing government led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban approved amendments in the labour laws, also called “slave law” by the demonstrators, including a hike in the maximum annual overtime hours of the workers and extending the overtime pay to three years.

The demonstrators, especially the trade unions alleged that the changes in the labour laws were made to fulfill the needs of the employers while exposing the workers to more overtime hours and exploitation.

Meanwhile, the Hungarian government refuted the claims of the workers and trade unions claiming that the amendments in the laws were made to benefit the sluggish economy of the country that was suffering from labour shortages.