NEWSLászló Kordás, President of the Hungarian Trade Union Confederation

László Kordás, President of the Hungarian Trade Union Confederation

 

kordaslaszloBorn in Budapest on 28. November 1969, joined the Metallworkers Trade Union at the age of 14, as apprentice at the IKARUS bus factory. He finished as car body fitter-welder.
During the first years of transition, being confronted by the need for meaningful interest defence, and critical to the trade union work, decided to be active. He first was elected as trade union youth representative in the company, then in 1994 vice president of the Metallworkers Youth Committee.

While his company – which used to be one of the largest bus producer in the world – underwent privatisation and restructuring, downsizing, wages becoming higher, but working conditions much worse, they decided to set up a local union in NABI. For this activity he was dismissed. For half a year he lived on work partly in the shadow economy, then returned to his former workplace and successfully organised the union, of which became its president. After long negotiations and conflicts, they managed to elect the works council, safety reps and the OSH committee (all seats taken by the union), as well as sent a real representative to the company board. Finally the union concluded an exemplary collective and wage agreement.

In 1998 Kordás was elected as full time secretary of the MSZOSZ Trade Union Youth and joined also the work of the MSZOSZ presidium. This period was marked by the establishment of the Trade Union Youth Academy, various actions, demonstrations. In parallel, following the wish of his colleagues he continued his union function at NABI.

In 2002he was elected as vice-president of MSZOSZ, setting up the confederation’s informatics system, overlooking the media and communication work and being involved in national negotiations through the tripartite OÉT, the National Interest Reconciliation Council.

Following a government change in 2004, upon the call of the prime minister to be the „voice of workers in the government” he became secretary of state of the Ministry of Employment and Labor. His tasks included the representation of the government in the tripartite Interest Reconciliation Council and the National Interest Reconciliation Council of Public Service. He was also part of setting up the system of multiannual and multi-element minimum wage.

After the 2006 elections Kordás was given the task to set up the Social Dialogue Centre in the Employment Office, with the aim to manage the resources relating to sectoral, national level interest concertation, the elaboration and introduction of a country—wide legal assistance network, the “Jogpont” which is still operational as “Jogpont+”. In 2011 after reorganisation of the Office, he left civil service and became freelance advisor.

During this period he acquired economist – business management qualifications.

In 2012 Kordás was asked by the organisers of the first hunger march to help organise the new movement as a trade union. He was elected as secretary general of the Trade Union of Workers in Public Works.

In 2014 Kordás was nominated by several member unions of MSZOSZ, ASZSZ and SZEF as president candidate of the Hungarian Trade Union Confederation, and was elected on February 27. 2015.

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