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Financial Participation

At national level, trade unions participated in the elaboration of the various forms of employee financial ownership during privatization. Today although the trade unions show an interest in employees’ financial participation they are not active in that regard.



Employee share ownership played an important role in the establishment of the National Works Council Federation (Munkástanácsok Országos Szövetsége), one of the trade union associations set up in Hungary’s economic transformation phase. The first works council was set up in a porcelain plant. This company went on to become a prototype for employee share ownership schemes. The national organisation lobbied for a statutory framework for employee financial participation schemes as a partner of Hungary’s first post-Communist government.



Local or company unions, however, were often passive and limited action to declaring their interest in employee buy-outs, but did not play any role in organising the procedure. In other cases, however, local trade unions actively lobbied for preferential shares as well as for ESOP buy-outs.



Trade unions did not formally participate in organising and running the ESOP in any of the companies, however.




Currently, trade unions are showing a certain amount of interest in employee financial participation, but there is no active support.1

Wilke, Maack and Partner (2014) Country reports on Financial Participation in Europe. Prepared for www.worker-participation.eu. Reports first published in 2007 and fully updated in 2014.