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220 workers laid off as photo plant shuts

Fribourg-based photographic paper producer Ilford Imaging has failed to find a new buyer and has been forced into receivership.

220 workers laid off as photo plant shuts
More than 200 workers have lost their job. Photo:www.ilfordarea.ch

The company told its 220 staff at the Marly plant on Tuesday they would have to find new jobs, the Swiss news agency SDA reported.

The manufacturer of products for the photographic and print industries has been hit by the difficult situation in the photo production sector.

Ilford has also suffered as a result of the strong franc as most of its sales are generated abroad.

“We searched actively for new investors; unfortunately without success,” director Lars Sommerhäuser told SDA.

A decision will follow in the next few days as to whether the company is officially declared bankrupt.

“We now need to find a solution to ensure that the workers receive at least part of their July salary,” Sommerhäuser said.

The workers’ pay for June was partly paid by Ilford and partly by the cantonal unemployment insurance.

The Employees Switzerland association has called on Ilford to assume responsibility towards its staff and help them in the search for work.

It deplored the fact that no redundancy plan had been worked out with unions.

Ilford, a former subsidiary of chemicals concern Ciba, had at the start of the month still believed it had realistic chances of finding an investor.

The company had been in financial difficulty since British investor Paradigm Global Partners ended its involvement on July 1st.

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WORKING IN SWITZERLAND

Which countries does Switzerland have working holiday visa agreements with?

Switzerland has made reciprocal agreements regarding working holiday visas with several countries. Here's what you need to know.

Which countries does Switzerland have working holiday visa agreements with?

Over the past few decades, countries around the globe have rolled out ‘working holiday visa’ agreements.

These visa schemes, largely targeted at young people, allow people to work and live in a particular country, usually for a set period of time and pursuant to certain conditions.

In recent years, Switzerland has expanded its own form of a ‘working holiday visa’, although there are some important differences to be aware of.

Unlike some of the better known schemes like those in place in Australia, applicants are discouraged from moving around and are generally required to stay with the one employer for the duration.

The goal of the visa scheme is to allow applicants to “expand their occupational and linguistic skills in Switzerland”.

The visa scheme runs for 18 months and cannot be extended.

Which countries does Switzerland have working holiday visa agreements with?

The agreements are made between countries, meaning your fate will depend on whether your government has at some point struck a deal with Switzerland.

EXPLAINED: What’s the difference between permanent residence and Swiss citizenship?

If you are from the European Union or an EFTA country (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), then you will be able to live and work in Switzerland as is – and will not need to go through this process.

If you come from outside the EU, you will only be able to apply for this visa if you are a citizen of the following countries:

Australia, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Tunisia, Ukraine and the United States.

What does ‘reciprocal’ mean in this context? 

Where these agreements have been struck, they have entitled citizens of both countries to certain rights and permissions in the other country. 

However, while these arrangements might be reciprocal, they are not identical. 

For instance, while citizens of Australia can enter Switzerland and work, the rules for Swiss citizens in Australia are significantly different. 

Therefore, if considering each program, be sure to study all of the relevant details as these will change from country to country and from agreement to agreement. 

More information is available at the following link. 

EXPLAINED: How to get a working holiday visa in Switzerland

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