Strike could leave hundreds of thousands waterless

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Hundreds of thousands of Hungarians could be left without water if workers in the water utility sector go on strike, which is not impossible as VSZOÁSZ, the national federation of water workersʼ unions, has launched preparations for a strike with associated organizations, according to a report by news portal index.hu today.

Claiming that workers in the Hungarian water sector receive “shamefully low” pay and complaining that they have received only a 2.5% wage hike in the past six years on a single occasion, while other benefits have reportedly been cut, the union federation is seeking a uniform 30% pay rise, index.hu reported. The federation claims that the Hungarian government’s recently announced wage hikes do not apply to the majority of the sector’s workers. 

Before going on strike, agreements need to be made on providing services during the strike, and although as an initial step only customer services would be temporarily affected, workers are reportedly ready to turn the taps off temporarily, leaving hundreds of thousands of Hungarians without water. Service providers included in the planned strike cover one-third of the country’s water utility operations.

The Ministry of National Development told Hungarian commercial TV channel RTL Klub that it is not negotiating with VSZOÁSZ, but with a larger union organization, index.hu reported.

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