Demonstrations are scheduled to be held in Budapest and other major cities on Saturday, January 19. Various trade unions and civil society groups are calling for supporters to bring “the country to a halt” to protest a controversial labor law. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near the demonstration sites. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Protests denouncing a controversial labor law and judicial reform first erupted in Hungary on December 12, 2018. President János Áder signed the labor reforms into law despite the protests. Opponents of the law have called the reforms a "slave law"; the law increased the number of overtime hours employers can demand employees to work from 250 to 400 hours a year. It also allows associated overtime payment to be delayed up to three years. On January 3, opposition members of parliament pledged to make 2019 a "year of resistance" against the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Individuals in Hungary, particularly Budapest, are advised to avoid all protests as a precaution, monitor the situation, anticipate localized business and transportation disruptions near protest sites, and obey instructions issued by the local authorities.
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