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Labour unrest Striking construction workers march through Geneva

marching builders in Geneva

Striking workers took to the streets of Geneva on Tuesday morning, causing traffic jams in the city.

(Keystone)

Some 1,800 striking construction workers have been marching through the streets of Geneva to protest against worsening working conditions. 

This follows a similar protest by about 3,000 of their profession in canton Ticino on Monday. 

The strike in Geneva was called by the Unia, Synia and SIT unions for one day that may be extended. Police organised traffic deviations for the march, causing some traffic jams in the city.

Placards carried by the marchers included “Stop wage dumping”, “We are fighting for a good collective agreement”, and “Yes, but not at any price”. 

+Read about the Ticino strike

The strike, a relatively rare phenomenon in Switzerland, comes as negotiations have been ongoing for a new union agreement in the construction sector. The current agreement expires at the end of the year. The striking workers denounced an alleged upsurge in temporary working on building sites, precarious job situation of older workers and massive sub-contracting often leading to the use of cheap foreign labour. 

There are some 1,400 construction businesses in the Geneva area, employing some 12,000 people.

SDA-ATS/jc

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