Trade Union of Hotel, Catering and Tourism /VISZ/


,,...... I am not alone!
I have brothers, several millions:
I protect them, they protect me.
I am not afraid of you fate whatever you want.''

Executives, secretariat of Trade Union of Hotel, Catering and Tourism:

Dr. József Mosonyi president
Dr. Zsuzsanna Várnai managing president
Mária Bogdánné Nánai vice-president
Dr. Katalin Berán solicitor of labour
László Bécs secretarial associate
Vera Krifaton secretarial associate


Supervisory Board (GEB) of Trade Union of Hotel, Catering and Tourism:

Katalin Grubits Mrs. Kővágó president of GEB
Mrs. Sándor Bácsi member of GEB
Mrs. Kálmán Máté member of GEB


Co-chairs of Trade Union of Hotel, Catering and Tourism:

Mrs László Horváth hospitality, domestic tourism
Zsolt Horváth hotels, hostels, pensions
Zoltán Kazup contract catering
Pál Kovács international relations
Mrs. István Lovas medical tourism
Zsófia Sütő travel agencies, airlines

The trade union was founded in 1835 by our predecessors, and it underwent three transformations during the past decades of history. Being the sole Hungarian organisation for the representation of interests in the sectors of tourism, hospitality, catering, contract catering and labour relations, the union is highly acknowledged these days on a national and international level.

In the presence of the attending secretaries representing the fundamental organisations of the hospitality and tourism trade it was reorganised on 22 November 1988 and declared the establishment of the Hungarian Trade Union of Catering and Tourism. With its first statutory congress on 15 November 1989, the union was redeveloped for the third time and has become the sole representative organisation to protect its membership interests and the rights of the represented employees working in the sectors of tourism, hospitality, public supply or travel business, for 150 years so far.

In order to meet the new objectives articulated on the first congress the Hungarian Trade Union of Catering and Tourism signed the (sectoral) Collective Agreement on Hospitality and Tourism on 21 May 1997 together with the Hungarian Tourism Employers Association, binding several employers. It was extended with the decree of the Minister of Economy on 18 April 2001 involving all employer organisations operating in the sub-sectors of hotel services, catering of restaurants and confectioneries and contract catering and workplace catering.

Our trade union was the first in Central and Eastern Europe to become the member of the Geneva-based, ICFTU member association, the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Worker's Associations (IUF) in 1990 and its Brussels-based European alliance, the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT). Due to our international and European membership 200 officials got acquainted with the activities of European trade unions, the functions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the member of the United Nations Association.

We participate in two sectors of the European Social Dialogues of the EU, the sector of HORECA (Hotel, Restaurant and Catering) and Contract Catering. The international trade union can express its appreciation of our work this way. Our substantial independence is unique in Europe.

Our experiences gained in the European Union fostered the foundation of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee of Tourism and Hospitality on 19 September 2003, organised in the framework of the PHARE Program to set up sectoral social dialogue committees in Hungary. (This agreement can be read here.)

The sectoral social dialogue committees belong to the so-called Directorate General for Employment, Social Affaires and Equal Opportunities (DG V) of the European Commission, the organisation of the European Union, responsible for preparatory legislation.

We belong to the Alliance of Autonomous Trade Unions out of the six confederacies operating in Hungary, by representing our membership at a co-chairman level. This enables us to take part in the reconciliation of interests at a national level and to assist the work of the National Labour Committee, determining the minimal wage on a national level, making proposals concerning the extent of increase in earnings, reporting on laws relating to taxation and on the Labour Code.

We are permanently invited representatives to the Parliamentary Committee on Tourism. Our union is member of the National Tourism Board, the consulting and preparatory branch for decision making of the Minister without Portfolio in Charge of Regional Development and Convergence, as well as the Parliamentary Committee on Sport and Tourism and several Regional Tourism Committees.

The Hungarian Trade Union of Catering and Tourism currently operates according to the fundamental rules agreed in 2001


- to protect employees' interests and assisting them when dealing with labour relations issues;

- to ensure and supervise whether workplaces comply with laws and regulations;

- to operate trade unions in the organisations of the sector by involving their members;

- to represent its members' interests vis-a-vis the employers and governmental institutions on labour relations issues;

- to constantly enhance the standard of living and working conditions of its members;

- striving to have a wage-system that is in direct proportion to the performance of the sector and its impacts on the national economy;

- to fight against irregular employment;

- to facilitate and support the training and development of its members and their succession planning;

- to urge the total acceptance of the European Social Charta;

- to inform its members all over the country about their rights and responsibilities concerning their financial, social, cultural, as well as working and living conditions (e.g.: VISZ homepage, circulars, via electronic technology etc.);

- promoting European employment norms and practices on a national level in the sector;

- to co-operate with employers' organisations in developing and implementing rules and standards affecting the sector and in reinforcing the contractual relationship concerning the collective agreement;

- concluding collective agreements on local, regional and sectoral levels;

- representing its members on national and international trade union movements;

- to support the effective operation of works councils and the work of the employee representatives from the supervisory boards of economic organisations;

- representing the interest of its members in preparatory legislation in relation to the sector or general employment conditions;

- taking part in issues of social dialogue on national and international level while contributing to the development of those by enabling the transfer of know-how for representatives and members;

- to delegate its members into organisations requiring social control;

- managing its budget and operating the offices, cultural institutions, holiday resorts it owns or leases;

- providing and organising services for its members (legal aid, labour exchange, accident-, health- and pension insurance, medical check-up etc.);

- to enable its members to satisfy their cultural, vacation and recreational needs;

- applying for tenders addressing civil organisations in order to be able to meet its goals and objectives.


Any private individual can become a member of the Hungarian Trade Union of Catering and Tourism /VISZ/, who accepts and keeps the fundamental rules, contributes to the accomplishment of the goals and responsibilities of VISZ and pays the membership fee.
Private individuals or legal entities can become supporting members by providing financial support for the union, without having the intention to take part in its operation as a member.
The admission procedure takes place by filling in an enrolment form at one of the local organs, at a regional trade union group or at the secretariat of VISZ.


Rights of the members: all members of the union

- can take part in the work of the union and attend its programs;

- can make proposals and express opinion during the union's agenda preparation and its implementation;

- have the right to participate - personally or by authorizing a representative - in decision making processes in relation to the operation of the union;

- can elect members and can be elected to the branches of the union or for its positions, all members having the same voting rights;

- have the right to acquire information on regulations affecting members' living and working conditions;

- can ask the help of officials, branches and specialists of the union in relation to safeguarding members' interests;

- can benefit from the recreational and vacation facilities and discounts laid down in the collective agreements of workplaces and initiated by the trade union;

- can benefit from the welfare payments, social benefits and aids laid down in the collective agreement, depending on the decisions of the local union organs;

- can benefit from the services provided and organised by the trade union (legal aid, labour exchange, accident-, health- and pension insurance, medical check-up etc.)

- can attend the trainings organised by the trade union;

- represent the trade union at their workplaces.

Responsibilities of the members:

- to keep the fundamental rules of VISZ;

- to contribute to the agenda agreed in order to accomplish the goals of the trade union and to the execution of the decrees accepted by the branches of VISZ, according to their tasks undertaken;

- to pay the necessary amount of membership fee defined by the congress that applies to them.




The organisational structure of VISZ:

- individual members, group of trade union stewards and chief trade union stewards

- local organs at workplaces and regionally organised local organs (trade union groups)

- county-level organisations co-ordinating local organs

- nationwide network of branches

- trade committees and layers of branches


Nationwide network of VISZ branches:

- Congress
- Board of Secretaries
- Presidium
- Council of Co-presidents
- Supervisory Body
- Secretariat

The secret of our success lies in the fact that from those accepting the membership of the trade union, through the representatives working at local organs, to top level officials we are all members of the Hungarian Trade Union of Catering and Tourism /VISZ/.
We can only enforce our interests if the majority of our colleagues possess membership in VISZ, the power of the trade union derives from this, and this is why the recruitment process cannot be considered as part of a campaign, but the part of the day-to-day operation.
It is not easy to be one of our officials, while promoting collective interests it is more common to be criticised than to be acknowledged – and still:


,,The purpose of human life is to serve,
and to show compassion and the will,
to help others''.
/Albert Schweitzer/