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Activists combine to fight labour accord

A leftwing committee has formed to campaign against the continuation and extension of a Swiss labour treaty with the European Union.

The 24-member group of union activists and socialists was set up in the Swiss capital Bern on Saturday.

It will campaign for people to vote against the treaty in a vote on February 8, 2009 by targeting union members and holding demonstrations. Members said the accord would weaken the unions and lead to exploitation among workers.

The Green Party meanwhile gave its unanimous support to the treaty continuation in a meeting also held on Saturday.

The labour treaty is one of 16 bilateral accords between the EU and Switzerland which came into force after 2002. Switzerland can review the labour accord by mid-May 2009.

Three of the four parties in the government, as well as the business lobby, are recommending they accept the deal. Leading opposition is the People's Party and small rightwing groups, which had collected enough signatures to force the referendum.


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