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Graphics industry sector stages warning strike over contracts

A key trade union in the Swiss graphics industry was urging the 39,000 industry workers to stage a warning strike Wednesday afternoon to protest against a controversial collective labour contract with employers.

This content was published on October 13, 1999 - 15:33

A key trade union in the Swiss graphics industry was urging the 39,000 industry workers to stage a warning strike Wednesday afternoon to protest against a controversial collective labour contract with employers.

The Comedia union, which has 10,000 members, wants all workers in the industry to stop work for a few hours to force employers back to the table to renegotiate a general contract.

It was unclear just how many workers were downing their tools to join protest action in Aarau, Basel, Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich and several other towns and cities.

The work stoppage came after trade unions and employers agreed in principle on a new framework contract in April.

Trade unions said they would formally accept the deal once union members had voted on the proposal and approved it.

However, Comedia members turned down the employers’ proposals with a 70 percent majority in June. Union members say they want higher wages and will not give up the right to strike.

Despite Comedia’s negative vote, the graphics industry’s small 3000-member Syna trade union implemented the new contract the following month.

Employers in turn have accused Comedia of turning its back on April's labour agreement and of making "unreasonable" demands.

Comedia and employers are scheduled to resume labour negotiations in two weeks’ time.

From staff and wire reports.

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