• Switzerland edition
 
Swiss to vote on world's highest minimum wage
Switzerland economy minister, Johann Schneider-Ammann. File photo: Swiss Federal Government

Swiss to vote on world's highest minimum wage

Published: 26 Feb 2014 10:01 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Feb 2014 14:04 GMT+01:00

Schneider-Ammann launched a campaign on Tuesday objecting to the proposal, which will be put to Swiss voters in a referendum on May 18th. Switzerland does not currently have a national minimum wage. 

If the plan is approved, Switzerland's lowest hourly salary will exceed that of current record holder Australia by more than ten US dollars. Australian workers are entitled to A$16.37 per hour ($14.67). 

The UK's minimum hourly wage is £6.31 ($10.55), while Germany recently agreed a €8.50 ($11.69) minimum from 2017. The current US rate is $7.25. 

Speaking at a media conference reported by Reuters, Schneider-Ammann said: "The government is convinced it would be wrong for the state to impose a nationwide wage."

"A minimum wage of 4,000 francs could lead to job cuts and even threaten the existence of smaller companies, notably in retail, catering, agriculture and housekeeping."

"If jobs are being cut, the weakest suffer most," he said.

In an interview with newspaper Tribune de Genève, Philippe Leuba, economics minister for canton Vaud, agreed.

Bringing in a minimum wage would compound the problems created by the recent anti-immigration yes vote, he said.

"Don't forget that one franc in two is earned through exports. Our standard of living depends on our ability to export and if we fail to maintain relations with the EU there will be considerable difficulties for the economy, for salaries, for jobs and for apprenticeships. So let's not multiply our mistakes by saying yes to a minimum wage."

In November, Neuchâtel became the first Swiss canton to propose a minimum wage of 20 francs ($21.75), to come into effect in 2015, after residents voted to accept the principle.

SEE ALSO:

French unions slam €12 a month rise in minimum wage

Spanish unions slam minimum wage freeze

Italian wages rise at lowest rate since 1982

Caroline Bishop (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swiss hail ‘success in failure’ of Scots no vote
No supporters celebrate in Scotland. Photo: Leon Neal/AFP

Swiss hail ‘success in failure’ of Scots no vote

Commentators in Swiss media have called the Scottish no vote “a success in failure” after 55 percent of Scots voted against independence in Thursday’s historic referendum. READ  

Study: landlords prefer Swiss over immigrants
Photo: Metro Centric

Study: landlords prefer Swiss over immigrants

People with Swiss surnames are more likely to find rental accommodation in Switzerland than those with foreign names, according to a new study. READ  

Man shoots son during hunting season day trip
The man was transported to hospital by air ambulance service Rega. Photo: Rega

Man shoots son during hunting season day trip

A man accidentally shot his 22-year-old son during the course of a hunt near Andermatt in the canton of Uri, police reported on Thursday. READ  

Switzerland set for Ebola vaccine clinical trials
WHO Assistant Director General Bruce Aylward holds a report on Ebola at a press conference in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Switzerland set for Ebola vaccine clinical trials

Clinical trials of two experimental vaccines against the deadly Ebola virus are due to begin soon in Switzerland, the country's Tropical and Public Health Institute said on Thursday. READ  

Anti-match-fixing treaty signed in Switzerland
Council of Europe chief Thorbjoern Jagland spoke against match-fixing in sport. Photo: Daniel Sannum Lauten/AFP

Anti-match-fixing treaty signed in Switzerland

Sports ministers from across Europe gathered in Switzerland on Thursday to sign a treaty aimed at rooting out the "scourge" of match-fixing and illegal betting in sports. READ  

Swiss creates Google Glass app for medics
The Google Glass app will allow paramedics direct contact with doctors in emergency situations. Photo: Rijans007/Wikimedia Commons

Swiss creates Google Glass app for medics

A doctor in Switzerland has created an app allowing paramedics to use Google Glass to improve the quality and speed of treatment for emergency patients. READ  

Rare Valais sheep feared stolen for meat sale
The Saas sheep has distinctive long, pendulous ears. Photo: ProSpecieRara

Rare Valais sheep feared stolen for meat sale

Police investigating the case of 103 sheep which disappeared from an alpine pasture near Saas-Almagell in the canton of Valais are treating it as theft. READ  

Swift exit for Swiss dream team in Tokyo
Bencic (left) was coached by Hingis' mother. Photo: Toru Yamanaka/AFP

Swift exit for Swiss dream team in Tokyo

Former world number one Martina Hingis and rising star Belinda Bencic ended their first time together as a dream doubles team for Switzerland in the Pan Pacific Open second round on Thursday. READ  

Streaming service Netflix arrives in Switzerland
Programmes can be watched on a range of devices. Photo: Netflix

Streaming service Netflix arrives in Switzerland

Popular US video streaming service Netflix launched in Switzerland on Thursday morning after opening for business in Germany, France and Austria earlier this week. READ  

Czech spoils Bencic's upward rise in Tokyo
Swiss teen Bencic's upward rise beaten back. Photo: Paul Crock/AFP/File

Czech spoils Bencic's upward rise in Tokyo

Seventh-seeded Lucie Safarova battled back to beat wild card Belinda Bencic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 Wednesday and reach the Pan Pacific tennis tournament quarterfinals, spoiling the Swiss teenager's upward momentum this year. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Swiss football club fires team masseuse over explicit sex video
National
Geneva police arrest easyJet passenger over hand luggage row
Business & Money
Latest forecasts for Swiss economic growth turn less bullish
Sport
Formula One legend Schumacher to continue treatment at Swiss home
National
Former federal planning official calls for nine Swiss cantons
Features
The Local gets the lowdown on mushroom picking in Switzerland
National
Virgin boss Richard Branson's son rescued from peak of Matterhorn
National
Swiss President Didier Burkhalter's commute turns Twitter sensation
Features
High-tech cameras give dizzy view of Eiger's north face (VIDEO)
Politics
Baden municipal council strips 'nude selfies mayor' of duties
Business & Money
Switzerland stays atop competitiveness table for sixth year
National
Federal parliament secretary agrees to step down over nude selfies
Sponsored Article
Car insurance made easy online with St Bernard
National
Swiss residents pick Swedes as ideal European soul mates: survey
National
Zurich officials call project to move prostitutes to 'sex boxes' a success
National
Swiss gays recognized as parents of child born to surrogate mother
Health
Increase in mountain bike accidents keeps Swiss hospitals busy
National
Swiss policeman belatedly honoured for saving Jews from Holocaust
National
'Suicide tourists' to Switzerland double in three years: study
National
Swiss Post SMS scheme gets stamp of approval after pilot project
Business & Money
American tax evasion crackdown hits Swiss private banks' bottom line
Politics
Woman accuses Swiss politician in nude selfies scandal of lying
National
Villagers in Graubünden valley reject hydro plant to protect vultures
Business & Money
Court rules against appellation for absinthe from Neuchâtel valley
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,112
jobs available