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Government voices support for Tesco employees

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Photo: Károly Árvai/kormany.hu

Hungaryʼs government supports the efforts of retail workers at the local unit of U.K. retailer Tesco and considers that reaching an agreement regarding wages and headcount is necessary, János Lázár, the head of the Prime Ministerʼs Office, said in a letter to a union representing Tesco staff.

Unions representing Tesco workers agreed Monday on the expected start of a strike, but did not reveal the date. The unions decided to strike after failing to reach an agreement with management on wage rises for this year.

"The government remains committed to the implementation of a retail policy action plan drawn up in 2010," Lázár said in his letter published by pro-government daily Magyar Idők, and quoted by national news agency MTI. "We are determined to propose to Parliament a package of measures with a healthier structure that supports the establishment of a retail sector focused on the protection of employees and the interests of consumers."

The government considers settling the matter of wage convergence in the retail sector an important issue and fully agrees with unions on the need to find a solution for labor shortages, according to the letter. The labor shortage can be managed both with wage increases and proper training of retail staff, Lázár was quoted as saying.

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