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H&M plans hefty Swiss minimum wage by 2015

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H&M plans hefty Swiss minimum wage by 2015
Photo: Eric Piermont/AFP
23:31 CEST+02:00
Clothing retail chain H&M is planning to pay employees at its Swiss shops a minimum wage of 22 francs ($25) an hour starting next year.

The Swedish-owned group confirmed to the SDA news agency on Monday that it would introduce the wage on January 1st 2015.

Swiss newspapers Blick and Tages Anzeiger earlier reported the move.

H&M said a fair and proper wage policy allows it to attract the best employees.

The hourly minimum translates to a monthly wage of around 4,100 francs for a 42-hour week.

The planned wage is close to the minimum of 20 francs an hour proposed in an initiative to be decided by Swiss citizens in a May 18th referendum.

The proposal would establish the highest minimum wage in the world.

While H&M has pledged the new minimum pay it has yet to reach a collective agreement guaranteeing this amount with the union that represents its workers.

The retailer, with stores in 40 countries, earlier announced a policy of paying all textile workers a "living wage" wherever they are working in the world by 2018.

The policy affects hundreds of thousands of workers, mostly in Asia, in countries such as Bangladesh, where the minimum wage is less for two weeks than the hourly pay proposed for H&M's Swiss employees.

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