Geneva to introduce minimum wage

Minimum wages have been a traditional demand for trade unions. The archive picture shows a protest in the Lake Geneva region six years ago. Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

Voters in canton Geneva have approved a proposal to introduce a statutory minimum wage of CHF23 ($24.80) per hour.

This content was published on September 27, 2020 - 15:55

Official resultsExternal link from Sunday’s vote show 58.2% of voters coming out in favour of the initiative by trade union groups and left-wing parties.

The cantonal government as well as the right-wing and centre-right had recommended rejection of the proposal.

Supporters of the minimum wage say the aim is to reduce the number of working poor who can’t afford the prices in the Geneva region known for its high cost of living.

Opponents argue salary levels have to be negotiated between employers and employees without state intervention.

Geneva is only the third of Switzerland’s 26 cantons to introduce a minimum wage. At the beginning of next year, canton Ticino will also join the group.

Another vote on the issue is planned in canton Basel City next year.

In 2014, Swiss voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposal for a nationwide minimum wage of CHF22 per hour.

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