Trade unions present economic case for minimum wage

Demonstrators calling for a minimum wage outside parliament on May 1. Keystone

Trade unions have presented a study by economic experts, supporting their campaign for a minimum wage. The Trade Union Federation said that for socio-political reasons, a minimum wage of between SFr3,000 and SFr3,400 per month should be introduced.

This content was published on May 22, 2000 - 13:15

The Federation's secretary-general, Serge Gaillard, said on Monday that the study showed the rise would be manageable for the Swiss economy.

He said certain sectors of the economy would be forced to put up prices to cope with the rises, but that it would be feasible, if carried out gradually over a three to five year period.

Gaillard also maintained that the effect on inflation would not be severe. He said that, if the wage increases were kept at between 1.5 and two per cent a year, inflation would rise by between 0.4 and one per cent.

To highlight the scale of the impact that could be achieved by the measures, Gaillard noted that setting the minimum wage at SFr3,350 per month would lead to pay rises for 13 per cent of the workforce. That would result in an increase of wages for the economy as a whole of only 1.7 per cent.

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