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Should workers talk or take to the streets?

In many countries industrial action is part of a process to bring employers and unions to the negotiating table. In Switzerland, however, the focus is on social dialogue between the two sides. But is it always good to talk?

Strikes have been an extremely rare occurrence in Switzerland over the past 75 years. Collective labour contracts and institutionalised dialogue between management and unions are the main reasons.

This system contributes not only to the prosperity but also to the political stability of the country. It has become very much a part of Switzerland’s national identity. But can it survive major changes in the labour world and the economy. Do strike actions lead to social progress? Let us know what you think.

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How watch movements spurred industrial peace

This content was published on Jean-Claude Rennwald, a former parliamentarian and union activist from canton Jura, tells swissinfo.ch that various crises in watchmaking have pushed the employers’ organisations and trade unions to come up with acceptable compromises for both sides. As a trade union secretary, Rennwald successfully negotiated four collective bargaining agreements (CBAs). Such deals establish the working conditions in a…

Read more: How watch movements spurred industrial peace
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Labour relations enter “reign of terror”

This content was published on Last month, employers, trade unionists, academics and politicians gathered in Tolochenaz, where the business federation of canton Vaud is based, to discuss the future of social relations in Switzerland. Do the polite exchanges, shared views and desire to see another 75 years reflect something in the Swiss DNA or a myth skilfully nurtured since 1937,…

Read more: Labour relations enter “reign of terror”

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR