Union: State control of tobacco to cost 1,200 jobs

Food

The bill approved by the Hungarian parliament yesterday on the establishment of a centralized distribution company for tobacco products will mean the dismissal of 1,200 Hungarians working in the business, Lajos Csizmadia, the spokesperson of the tobacco workers union (DDTSZ) told the Budapest Business Journal today.

“Currently Hungary has six companies in charge of tobacco sales and distribution, and these companies own depos and a vehicle fleet employing 1,200. The passage of the new law will make their jobs extinct” Csizmadia said.

“As of September 2015 one company will do all the aforementioned work," he added. "We know little about the new system, however one thing is certain: Currently we consult and help the storekeepers personally, while in the new system the storekeepers will need to do a preorder, which will be verified before the shipping of tobacco products.”

“There is no guarantee that the people who are losing their jobs would be candidates for jobs with the new company” Csizmadia said, adding that “I do not want to go into speculations whether the new company would be state-owned or would be chosen through a tender” he said.

“We do not understand the reason of the need for a centralized distributor, as the government has been emphasizing the importance of retaining and creating jobs, and they have just dismissed 1,200 people by pushing one single button” he said.

Csizmadia declined to comment on the impact that this law – and the law passed today requiring a one-off tax of tobacco firms – will have no multinationals, like Philip Morris and British American Tobacco.

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