Unions launch minimum wage initiative

The Trade Union Federation has launched a people’s initiative to establish a minimum wage in Switzerland.

This content was published on January 25, 2011 - 11:19 and agencies

The campaigners have 18 months – until July 2012 – to gather at least 100,000 signatures to force a nationwide vote.

“There has been massive pressure on lower and average wages for the past 20 years,” the federation’s president Paul Rechsteiner told a news conference.

The text calls for a minimum salary of SFr22 ($23.20) per hour at 2011 rates. This would apply to everyone except apprentices, trainees, family businesses and voluntary workers.

The unions named a range of sectors where low-wage jobs are found: cleaning, textiles, watchmaking, parts of the hospitality industry and the retail trade, and businesses whose employees do not have a general contract.

The federation says minimum wages should also be achieved via a general contract, which lays down conditions covering all workers in a particular industry or enterprise.

At the moment only some branches have general labour agreement which include minimum salaries.

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know:

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?