H&M to introduce new minimum wage

H&M has branches across Switzerland, including Lausanne, seen here during a special promotion Keystone

The Swedish fashion retailer H&M is to bring in a new minimum wage for employees in its shops in Switzerland. The chain will pay staff CHF22 ($25) per hour from 2015, making the salary for an employee working 42 hours per week CHF4,000 a month.

This content was published on March 31, 2014 - 12:00 and agencies

The leading clothing shop has raised the minimum amount it will pay staff to the level called for by the trade union, Unia, in an initiative which will go to a nationwide vote on May 18. The group has been lobbying various fashion shops to improve pay to this level for years.

H&M told that “a market-driven and fair wage policy” was important in order to stay competitive in employing the best staff.

The retail clothing company says it has nearly 90 shops in Switzerland, and employs more than 1,900 local staff.

Overall H&M has a workforce of about 116,000 people in more than 50 countries.

Collective bargaining agreements

German discount supermarket chain, Lidl, has also raised the minimum amount it pays staff in Switzerland to the same standard. Trained bakers will also see their monthly wages go up to at least CHF4,000 by 2015.

Certain industries currently have collective bargaining agreements which set a minimum wage for a specific sector and vary between the different regions of the country. At the end of January, the government’s tripartite commission set a binding reference wage for workers selling clothes and shoes, ranging from CHF3,140 in Ticino to CHF3,450 in Zurich.

In Switzerland, fewer than one in two people works under a collective bargaining agreement, a relatively low rate internationally.

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