• Switzerland's news in English
Union raps Swiss executive pay rises
Photo: AFP

Union raps Swiss executive pay rises

The Local · 23 Jun 2015, 10:17

Published: 23 Jun 2015 10:17 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Remuneration for executives rose an average of 18 percent between 2011 and 2014 at three-quarters of major companies, Travail.Suisse said on Monday when it released its 11th annual report on management pay.

The hike in wages for those at the top came in spite of the Minder initiative, approved by voters in 2013, that was designed to curb excessive executive pay.

“The massive approval of the Minder initiative has not prevented the increase in salaries for top managers,” Jacques-André Maire, vice-president of Travail.Suisse told a press conference in Bern.

While some salaries have been reduced, pay levels generally continue at an extremely high level compared to what the lowest paid earn, the organization said.

The ten highest paid executives earned more than five million francs last year

The greatest pay gap last year was at Roche, the pharmaceutical giant, where outgoing chairman Franz Humer earned 15.38 million francs, 253 times as much as the lowest paid worker (61,000 francs a year) at the Basel-based company.

Roche’s CEO Severin Schwan earned 230 times as much as employees at the bottom, according to the Travail.Suisse figures.

Other executives with a pay ratio fo more than 200 to one included UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti (223 to one), Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke (218 to one) and Novartis CEO Joseph Jiminez (208 to one).

Travail Suisse listed 37 executives with pay ratios of more than 100 to one, with 11 of them working at UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, and another 11 at Credit Suisse, the second biggest bank.

Top managers from such companies as ABB, Swatch, Lindt & Sprüngli and Zurich Insurance also figured in the list.

Story continues below…

Contacted by news agency ATS, the Swiss Employers Association declined to comment on the figures released by Travail.Suisse.

The association, instead, referred to official statistics that show the differences between the highest and lowest salaries have moderated in Switzerland compared to other countries.

Travail.Suisse’s report analyzed salaries at 27 large Swiss companies from publicly available data.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
‘Scary clown’ craze hits streets of Zurich
Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP

Police in Zurich have warned so-called ‘scary clowns’ that they could face charges, following a number of incidents in the city.

VIDEO: driver chases runaway car on Swiss motorway
Image: Neuchâtel police

Shocking footage shows the moment a man dodged lorries to chase after his runaway car on a Swiss motorway.

Saas-Fee crowdfunds low-cost season ski pass
Saas-Fee is hoping to attract 99,999 season pass holders. Photo: Denis Emery/Photo-genic.ch

Skiers could get their hands on a whole season pass for just 222 francs ($223) in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee this winter – if enough people want one.

Swiss billionaire fined for dodging import tax
Urs Schwarzenbach owns the luxury Dolder Grand hotel in Zurich. Photo: Wilhem Rosenkranz

Urs Schwarzenbach faces a $4 million fine for failing to properly declare some 200 artworks imported into Switzerland.

Muslim woman wins headscarf court battle
Photo: Jack Guez / AFP

A Swiss court has ruled against a company that fired a longtime employee after she began wearing the Muslim headscarf.

Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
jobs available