From Shifts to the Street. Industrial Workers at the Fault Lines of the Ózd Micro-Region Cover Image

„Siktából” az utcára. Ipari munkások az ózdi kistérség törésvonalain
From Shifts to the Street. Industrial Workers at the Fault Lines of the Ózd Micro-Region

Author(s): Péter Alabán
Subject(s): History
Published by: KORALL Társadalomtörténeti Egyesület

Summary/Abstract: The demographics and social composition of the district (later, micro-region) of Ózd in Northern Hungary was shaped by various historical factors. Industrialisation, which began in the mid-nineteenth century, followed by world wars, annexation, land reforms, forced industrialisation and reorganisation of agriculture, and finally the crisis and liquidation of heavy industries, were determinative for the lives of the people living in the region in the past hundred years. In the twentieth century, intensive immigration to the region caused a major population increase, which eventually gave way to a dramatic decrease due to the regression of the iron industry after 1985. During the 1970s shortage of steel in Hungary, the steel industry continued to use obsolete technologies and the product structure was never reorganized to satisfy the demands of international markets. By the 1990s, mining ceased altogether, heavy industry plants stopped operation, and the Ózd Metal Works was divided into parts, and event their successors are long gone by now. Besides Ózd itself, the agglomeration and nearby settlements were in the same position: their development ground to a halt, new opportunities were hard to find. Contrary to the national tendencies at the time, the job market entered an unfavourable phase. While the number of pensioners was above national average, the majority of the unemployed were young (under 35) with no education and technical skills. With the disappearance of the formerly prevalent metal and mining industries, the re-employment of people over 40 became very difficult. Although the number of registered unemployed dropped between 1995 and 2005, the figures were still very high in January 2005 (nearly 5000 people), and the situation has not improved since then. Analysing the realignment of the layers of local society, the study explores the predominance of industrial workers, the distribution of employment by economical branches in three settlements, and the most important elements of the crisis that evolved after the change of regime in Hungary.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 49
  • Page Range: 82-105
  • Page Count: 24
  • Language: Hungarian