French workers asked to reveal what they think of Switzerland

What will the French make of their working lives in Switzerland?

French workers asked to reveal what they think of Switzerland

Nearly 135,000 French nationals work permanently in Switzerland, constituting the second-largest group of foreigners, behind the Germans, employed in the country.

Additionally, 85,100 workers commute to their Swiss jobs each day from France.They work in Switzerland because wages are higher here than in their home country.

French citizens, like nationals of other European Union countries, are able work in Swiss companies thanks to an agreement with Brussels, which allows the free movement of people between Switzerland and the EU.

However, not much is known about their working environment or the experiences and challenges they face in their daily work lives.

A new research project launched jointly by the universities of Bern and Strasbourg aims to fill this gap.

The two teams created a survey to find out  what French employees think about their professional life and relationships with co-workers in a Swiss workplace.

Swiss people who are working with French colleagues are also invited to participate in the survey.

A summary of the main results will be sent to all participants when the project is finished.

The results of the survey will be eagerly awaited, given French opinions on Switzerland have been known to cause a rumpus in the past.
In 2016 French journalist Marie Maurisse caused a storm when she published her book titled “Bienvenue au paradis! Enquête sur la vie des Français en Suisse” (“Welcome to Paradise. Investigation of French Lives in Switzerland”).
Maurisse said in an interview that she experienced anti-French feelings when she arrived in Switzerland in 2009. “It was precisely at that time that I settled in the canton of Vaud and experienced the rejection on the part of the Swiss”.
“When French immigrants come to Switzerland they believe they are arriving on familiar ground. This is wrong because the culture between the two countries is very different”, she added.

Michel Charrat, president of Groupement Transfrontalier Européen, an association representing French cross-border workers, praised Switzerland’s economy, which makes it possible for employees from France to earn good wages.

He said, however, that over the past 10 years “the rise of populism in Geneva has somewhat strained relations” between the local population and French workers. 

But in an interview with Swissinfo, Charrat noted that “it’s mainly the populist parties that launch these kinds of campaigns. Most people in Geneva don’t share these opinions”. 

READ MORE: Why Switzerland is still ranked top of the league for skilled workers 



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Hear ye, here ye! This Swiss city is looking for a town crier

Can you carry a tune? Are you a night owl? If so, this job posting in Switzerland may be up right up your (cobblestone) alley. Here’s how you can submit an application for this… very high position.

Hear ye, here ye! This Swiss city is looking for a town crier
The hat and coat are optional for the job. Photo by Lausanne Tourisme

As far as unusual employment opportunities go, this one from Lausanne is — quite literally — tops.

The city, which employs one of Europe’s last remaining town criers, is looking for people to fill this position on part-time basis.

What’s a town crier?

In Lausanne’s case, it is a person who announces the hours every night between 10 pm and 2 am from the bell tower of the city’s imposing Gothic cathedral, a landmark overlooking the roofs of the picturesque Old Town.

The workplace: Lausanne Cathedral. Photo by Lausanne Tourisme

The person who will assume this position will continue a tradition that this city in the canton of Vaud has cherished since 1405.

These are the requirements for the job:

  • To watch over the city each night
  • Announce each hour on the hour between 10pm and 2am in a melodious voice (in French, but knowledge of foreign languages is a plus)
  • Be able to climb 53 stone steps to the cathedral’s bell tower
  • Not have a criminal record
  • No falling asleep on the job
  • Have a business apprenticeship certificate (we are not sure why)

This is 365-days-a-year job, but the new hire will share the position with other criers.

Interested? This is how you can apply.