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Wages set to rise as economic growth continues

Unions sometimes take to the streets to achieve salary increases


Negotiations in the country's main collective employment contracts will result in an average pay rise of 1.4 per cent this year.

The Federal Statistics Office in Neuchâtel says this affects 355,000 people who are subject to collective contracts. It says that 0.4 per cent of the increase will be given to employees on merit.

The Office reports that the increases vary widely according to the different branches.

The most striking increases were in the metal and construction industries, while the weakest wage results were in the engineering and equipment sector, and in the hotel and restaurant business.

It adds that the majority of salary negotiations took place at the end of last year and were based on an inflation rate of 0.8 per cent.

Forecasts for the economy as a whole have all been upbeat of late, with Switzerland's main employers' organisation predicting growth of 2.2 per cent for 2000. It sees positive developments both domestically and in the export markets, adding that even the construction industry appears to have overcome earlier recession.

swissinfo with agencies

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