• Switzerland's news in English
Ticino to vote on hiring Swiss workers over foreigners
The canton of Ticino has always had high numbers of cross-border workers. Photo: Jean-Pierre Dalbera

Ticino to vote on hiring Swiss workers over foreigners

The Local · 2 Sep 2016, 11:49

Published: 02 Sep 2016 11:49 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Supported by the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), the cantonal initiative entitled ‘Ours first’ demands Ticino go some way towards introducing the principles of the 2014 national referendum which approved the idea of quotas on immigration, “pending implementation at federal level”, says the text of the initiative.

Specifically, the SVP demands that when hiring staff, companies in Ticino give preference to Swiss workers over foreigners if they are equally qualified.

The aim is to prevent so-called ‘wage-dumping’, where foreigners are hired to do a job at a cut-price cost.

Ticino has historically had high numbers of cross-border workers, most coming over from Italy.

Until last year the number of ‘frontalieri’ in Ticino rose sharply, with more than a quarter of its labour force living over the Italian border.

Many locals feel that the situation has contributed to raising unemployment and lowering salaries for Swiss workers in the canton.

In 2014, Ticino raised taxes on frontalieri, and in April 2015 authorities imposed tougher conditions on cross-border workers including a requirement that Italian nationals supply a copy of their criminal record.

As a result, figures released earlier this year showed that Ticino was the only canton in Switzerland to see numbers of cross-border workers fall in 2015.

Many politicians in the canton are in agreement with the idea behind the SVP-Ticino’s initiative, reported news agencies on Friday, but feel it would not be feasible given it would be limited by current federal and cantonal laws.

As a result, the Ticino government is backing a counter-proposal which suggests the issue should be tackled at federal level as part of Switzerland’s ongoing discussions surrounding how to implement immigration quotas without contravening the EU principle of free movement of people.

Story continues below…

The cantonal parliament backs a solution put forward earlier this year by ETH Zurich professor and former minister Michael Ambühl, which suggests temporary limits be put on immigration by region or by job sector should immigration cause problems in those specific areas.

Writing on its website the SVP rejected the counter-proposal, saying their own initiative was a “reflection of the clear NO to the free movement of people”, since Ticino voted overwhelmingly in favour of immigration quotas in the February 9th 2014 referendum.

The canton will also vote on another initiative aimed at curbing wage-dumping by increasing the number of inspectors in the employment market, an idea dismissed by many as too costly.

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
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.

Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Geneva terror suspects to receive compensation
File photo: Emran Kassim

The Swiss public prosecutor has dropped the case against them.

Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
File photo: The Local

The cow was at risk of drowning after falling into the private pool.

Uefa Champions League
Basel 'ready for battle' in Champions League clash
Basel training in Paris. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

Swiss champions Basel fancy their chances of springing a surprise when they face Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

Burst pipe causes major flood in Lausanne
The water flooded Place de la Riponne in Lausanne. File photo: Swiss Tourism/Christof Schuerpf

Water rushed down the streets after a pipe burst in the city centre.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available