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AFP
December 20, 2018

Hungarian police demand overtime pay amidlabour protests

World

AFP
December 20, 2018

BUDAPEST: Hungarian police officers demanded to be paid for thousands of hours of outstanding overtime Wednesday, against the backdrop of widespread protests over a deeply controversial labour law.

A group of 2,300 officers from the north-eastern county of Szabolcs took the highly unusual step of going public with their grievances, in the form of a letter to the index.hu website that complained of “systematic violations” in how they were paid over the past three years.

They said that payment of almost 50,000 hours of overtime per year was still outstanding, amounting to “almost 200 million forints” (620,000 euros) annually, and that they had decided to take their demands public after being rebuffed by police chiefs.

The officers who wrote the letter were careful to say that their demand “was not in any way linked to the protests of recent days”. “We are policemen, our letter has no political objective, but we want our rights to be protected!,” they wrote.

Police sources say that on a national level policemen are owed pay for hundreds of thousands of hours of overtime. The issue of overtime has however been key to large scale protests over Hungary’s new labour legislation, which critics have dubbed a “slave law”.

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