from the programme of the 4th Congress of MSZOSZ
Having taken the experiences about the execution of the resolutions by the 3rd Congress into account, the 4th MSZOSZ Congress regards it as one of its most important responsibilities to determine precisely the tasks for the period leading over to the next century. Considering that the negotiations on Hungary’s accession to the European Union have been launched – almost simultaneously with the Congress –, the tasks of the coming period are inseparable from the criteria of integration.
Over the past years, national consensus has evolved that Hungary has no other feasible option but to join the European Union. Our country has made great efforts to stabilise its economy and finances, to create the conditions of a sustainable and steady economic growth and to meet the Maastricht requirements to the full. Accomplishment of these objectives have come into accessible nearness.
In MSZOSZ’s view, the four basic freedoms – the free movement of capital, goods, services and labour/individuals – will have to be equally enforced in the course of the accession process, none of them should be given priority over another.
According to our Confederation, interest conciliation should operate within its existing institutional framework in a way that agreement should be reached on real wages, wage increases, as well as on the regulations related to taxes and contributions and the levels of social benefits that determine the former. We consider it important that the articles of the European Social Charter ready to be ratified should come before the Parliament as soon as possible. We regard the development of rural areas as an important task of the whole society.
It is a firm intention of MSZOSZ to achieve that simultaneously with the financial and economic stabilisation accomplished at the price of great sacrifices and with a lasting economic growth getting under way, the social stabilisation of the society should also take place. It should involve firms steps against informal economy and a more proportionate distribution of rates and taxes, which requires a change in favour of wage-earners.
Our Confederation thinks that the increase of real wages in proportion to economic growth and improving productivity is not only possible but can also be worded as an imperative demand of workers. Namely, a perceivable rise of real wages is an important earnest of further growth. That is why we are convinced that the most important task is to reduce deductions from wages and to eliminate unjustified wage differences. The so called mezzo-level wage agreements can have an important part in this. We are determined to stand up against the government’s wish to hand over the right of wage bargaining and entering into collective agreements to works councils.
The primary goals of MSZOSZ are to prevent workers from becoming unemployed, to preserve existing jobs and to create new ones: to create employment security, which may require a comprehensive government programme as well. We want a workweek of 38 hours in all workplaces within four years. We regard the new generation’s access to work as a issue of particular importance.
The social security of wage-earners and their families, the unemployed and pensioners is an important question of the coming years, the period of accession to the European Union. It is an ambition of MSZOSZ that living conditions of especially the groups mentioned above should approximate the EU average. To this end, it essential that the state should discontinue to withdraw from managing social welfare related issues; moreover, it should create the legal guarantees for minimum social provisions.
MSZOSZ, as the largest organisation of the largest group of contribution-payers, demands a share in the management and control of the institutions of social insurance. Whether we have it or not, we consider it necessary that the state should guarantee the payment of allocations under any circumstances. The preferences built in the pension system in the course of its reform must be maintained according to the agreement of the social partners, according to societal consensus; and the health reform must not entail a reduction in the level of provisions and/or the circle of those entitled to provisions.
To stop the further deterioration of the situation of labour safety, we think it is necessary to work out a national labour safety programme and to provide increased protection for women and the young.
As regards the further development of interest conciliation, MSZOSZ sees the representation of workers’ fundamental economic and social interests possible in a tripartite system of several levels built on one another.
The National Confederation of Hungarian Trade Unions must continue to function as an organisation capable of representing the interests of people living on their wages, salaries or pensions and concluding agreements at national level. This requires a more specific division of tasks between the national centre, the affiliated unions and the regional representations. It belongs here that an effective confederation implies a further integration of sectoral unions, their strengthening in terms of organisation, human and financial resources, but above all, the existence of operable branch organisations, an intensified local presence.
MSZOSZ is interested in strengthening the co-operation of the various trade union confederations functioning in Hungary. We also seek to improve our social relations, i.e. to broaden the co-operation between our platforms and political parties as well as to maintain our relations with non-governmental organisations.
In its international activities, the National Confederation of Hungarian Trade Unions – like in the previous years, with Hungary’s integration in the European Union getting under way – is focussing on maintaining and deepening its relations established on our continent. As a full member of the European Trade Union Confederation, MSZOSZ is urging for ETUC to become in fact an alliance of the representative trade union confederations of the continent. We hold similar views in other international organisations, too. At the same time, we support bilateral or multilateral co-operation across borders.