Protesters threw smoke grenades at police who responded with tear gas in Budapest on Sunday as thousands of people rallied against a new "slave law" passed by the government of conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
More than 15,000 people joined the demonstration according to local reports. On Monday, the protests – the first since Mr Orban returned to power in 2018 – entered their fourth day.
The protests are led by unions and opposition parties outraged at reforms that hike the overtime hours employers can demand from 250 to 400 hours annually, and which also allow payment to be delayed by up to three years.
The government says the changes are needed by employers who find themselves short of manpower and will benefit people who want to work extra hours.
Sunday’s protest finished at Parliament Square, where protesters chanting: "Orban get lost!" have been gathering since the law was adopted last week.
Protesters led by two opposition politicians later marched to Hungary’s public television headquarters to read a petition but were refused access.
MUST WATCH: This is what happens when an opposition MP tries to get air time on public media in Hungary. Akos Hadhazy is roughed up and dragged away by armed security guards. #Hungary pic.twitter.com/7wa8ImFp1u
— Benjamin Novak (@b_novak) December 17, 2018
Protesters then hurled missiles and smoke grenades, prompting police to respond with tear gas.
"They don’t negotiate with anyone. They just do whatever they want. They steal everything. It’s intolerable. It cannot go on," said one protester, Zoli, a transport worker.
Protests in the past week have been the most violent in Hungary for over a decade with dozens arrested and at least 14 police injured.
Other reforms passed by parliament, which is dominated by Mr Orban’s ruling party, include a bill paving the way for new "administrative courts" to oversee public administration cases.
The justice minister Laszlo Trocsanyi, a close ally of Mr Orban, would oversee the courts, leading some to warn the premier could have near-total political influence over the judicial system.
Anger over the legislation has prompted opposition parties across the spectrum, who accuse Orban and his ruling Fidesz party of steering Hungary toward authoritarianism, to join forces.
Pro-government public and commercial media have portrayed the protesters as anarchists and "mercenaries of George Soros".
The Hungarian-born US billionaire Mr Soros has long been accused by Mr Orban of plotting to destabilise Hungary.