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Unions promote short-time work

Trade unions have called for better protection against mass layoffs amid fears of increasing unemployment.

This content was published on June 22, 2009 - 12:59

The Swiss Trade Union Federation, which represents about 380,000 employees in 16 different sectors, said that short-time work was a viable option to prevent collective dismissals.

The federation urged the authorities to extend the period of short-time work, where employees agree to work fewer hours than usual, from 18 months to 24 months.

Companies which benefit from state assistance should be obliged to keep their staff until the economy picks up again and mass sackings should be made conditional on salary caps for management, trade unions said on Monday.

They want Swiss labour laws follow European regulations, including allowing improved consultation guarantees for employees.

A survey published earlier this month found that four out of every ten Swiss companies are planning to lay off staff over the next 12 months to deal with the economic downturn.

The government last week unveiled a third stimulus package worth SFr750 million ($688 million) to stabilise the job market.

The economics ministry expects the jobless rate to soar to 5.5 per cent next year from 3.4 per cent last month.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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