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Unions demand salary increases ahead of talks

The Swiss Trade Union Federation has called on employers to increase workers’ salaries two to three per cent across the board next year.

The Federation says the increase should be at least SFr100 per month and that the rise in the cost of living should also be compensated.

The union umbrella organisation reckons that companies have enough orders in the pipeline and profits to meet its demands.

It added it would refuse one-time payments to workers at upcoming negotiations with employers, saying salary hikes were the only way to get lower and medium salaries back up to where it believes they belong.

According to the organisation, only higher salaries benefited from economic growth between 2004 and 2008, while other workers saw their purchasing power diminish.

The Swiss Employers Association has rejected the demands, but warned that the unions see the situation as being far more favourable than it really is. Director Thomas Daum said economic growth would slow down and the strong franc could be an obstacle to salary increases.

He added that salary hikes could be considered for some sectors of the economy though. and agencies

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