Trade union Unia has reacted with anger to what it views as immoral wage dumping after it emerged that a group of Slovakian workers were allegedly being paid €5 ($7) per hour for construction work at a post office in Bern.

"/> Trade union Unia has reacted with anger to what it views as immoral wage dumping after it emerged that a group of Slovakian workers were allegedly being paid €5 ($7) per hour for construction work at a post office in Bern.

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IMMIGRATION

Union slams post office over ‘wage dumping’

Trade union Unia has reacted with anger to what it views as immoral wage dumping after it emerged that a group of Slovakian workers were allegedly being paid €5 ($7) per hour for construction work at a post office in Bern.

German company Howe has employed 14 men since mid-June to carry out building work at the Schanzen post office building in the Swiss capital.

The workers have also been sleeping at the construction site, in the basement of an air raid shelter.

As the work is being carried out at the premises of Swiss Post, Unia representatives held a meeting with the state-run company on Friday calling for it only to hire firms that offer proper wages and decent accommodation for their workers.

According to the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Swiss Post is investigating the allegations, but it has already asked Howe to comply with national wage agreements for construction workers.

Two weeks ago, Unia revealed similar findings concerning 40 workers from Bosnia employed for the construction of a new municipal incineration plant, also in Bern.

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TRANSPORT

Bern central station renovation to be delayed by two years

Not everything runs on time in Switzerland.

Bern central station renovation to be delayed by two years

The renovation and expansion of the central station in the Swiss capital of Bern will be delayed by two years, authorities announced on Wednesday. 

EXPLAINED: How to find cheap train tickets in Switzerland

The works on the station, Switzerland’s second largest, were set to be completed in 2027 but will now not be finished until 2029. 

The Swiss federal railways (SBB), Bern railways (RBS) and the city of Bern made the announcement on February 16th, saying geological issues, the Covid pandemic and other problems will see the plans delayed.

“Demanding geological conditions and hydrological difficulties, contaminated sites, the corona pandemic and a lack of options for acceleration are delaying construction work on the highly complex large-scale project of the future Bern train station” they said in a press statement. 

The delays will also push the costs of the project higher, by between CHF100 and CHF150 million francs. 

The expansion and renovation project was deemed necessary due to increasing traffic in the station, which regularly hits capacity at peak times. 

READ MORE: Why is Bern the ‘capital’ of Switzerland?

Work has been underway since 2017. 

In addition to the construction of a new station under the existing SBB tracks, the renovation will build an additional pedestrian underpass, which will be completed in 2028.

Two new station entrances will be constructed, while the surrounding area of the station will also be incorporated into the project so as to minimise bottlenecks during peak times.  

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