Wage war

Does a legally fixed minimum wage still make sense in the current economic crisis?

This content was published on January 23, 2012 - 11:10

For some, a minimum wage improves the living standards of workers, reduces poverty and forces businesses to be more efficient. Others see it as a cause of unemployment and inflation with the only winners being countries with no minimum wage.

Where do you stand – and has the economic crisis changed your view?

Minimum wage initiative

The initiative “for the protection of fair salaries” was handed in by the Trade Union Federation on January 16. It calls for a minimum salary of SFr22 per hour or around SFr4,000 a month. 

The minimum wage should be adjusted regularly to price and wage developments, but in proportion to the pension index of the old-age and survivors’ insurance.


It also calls on the government and cantons to ensure that general labour contracts fix a minimum wage according to the place of work, profession and economic sector.


According to the Federal Statistics Office there are around 120,000 working poor in Switzerland.


Only canton Neuchâtel has so far decided to introduce a minimum wage.

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