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Chemical and machinery industry employees press for higher wages

Unions representing workers in the chemical and machinery industries are calling for wage increases of four per cent and shares in the companies they work for. They said the demands were justified by the excellent prospects in the two branches.

At a news conference on Wednesday, they added that the drop in real wages in previous years and a rise in inflation of 1.5 to two per cent for this year, were further reasons for a significant increase.

The unions said they would press for the practice of a general wage rise to be maintained, and called for more transparency and fairness in awarding performance-related increases.

They also said employees should be given a share of the company's profits, through payments of an "employee's dividend". The unions said shares in the company should not only be given to members of the upper management, but also to employees.

They proposed allowing employees to use two to three per cent of their wages to buy shares in the company, at at least 15 per cent below the market price.

The two unions represent nearly 30,000 employees in the chemical and machinery industries.

swissinfo with agencies

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