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Today in Switzerland For Members

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 24 Oct, 2022 Updated Mon 24 Oct 2022 01:58 CEST
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Fares to new destinations are cheaper than Zurich's public transport. Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP

The fate of SWISS pilots' strike has been decided, minimum wage is challenged, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Monday.

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SWISS pilots’ strike: Decision taken on Monday

The talks between SWISS airline’s CEO and the pilots’ union, which started on Sunday were concluded today - and both sides managed to reach a deal. 

It means that no more strikes are planned for now. The original strike, scheduled for October 17th, had been postponed, pending the outcome of talks.

“I am glad that we were able to agree on a new collective labour agreement for cockpit staff after a difficult negotiation process that lasted almost two years,” SWISS CEO Dieter Vranckx said.

READ MORE: UPDATE: SWISS pilots postpone strike

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MPs to debate validity of collective agreements versus minimum wages

Geneva and Neuchâtel will be particularly impacted by today's parliamentary debate, focusing on whether collective labour agreements (CLA) take precedence over the minimum wage laws.

The motion demands that the agreements negotiated between employers and unions on the national level should override minimum per-hour pay set by cantons.

Geneva and Neuchâtel are the only cantons concerned by the motion, as the three others that have a minimum wage — Jura, Basel-City and Ticino — already follow this model.

If passed, Geneva and Neuchâtel workers in certain sectors would see their wages fall to meet the conditions outlined in their CLAs, but would be granted other benefits such as seniority bonuses or meal costs.

Those who don’t have CLAs, will not be affected by the move.

The motion was accepted by the Council of States and will be debated at the National Council.

READ MORE: Geneva to raise its minimum wage in 2023

Less demand for properties in Geneva

Though historically Geneva’s real estate market has been much in demand, the number of transactions in the canton fell by more than 30 percent in the last three months, according to cantonal statistical office (OCSTAT).

The reason is that fixed mortgage rates have tripled since the beginning of the year, and even more so since Swiss National Bank raised the key interest rate in September.

Despite the lower demand, however, the pace of construction remains strong in the canton. During its last survey, OCSTAT had counted 7,479 new housing units under construction, which it qualified as “a historically high level”.

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Low-fare flights trump public transport

Budget airline EasyJet has taken out a series of advertisements in Zurich to promote its new low-fare flights from Zurich to Catania, Lisbon and Porto.

The ads point out that the price of tickets to these destinations is cheaper than the cost of public transportation in Switzerland’s largest city.

There would possibly be nothing odd  about these adverts, except that they appear on… trams operated by the Zurich Transport Authority (VBZ).

https://twitter.com/f_vuichard/status/1583830077019926528

While some MPs are questioning the placing of these ads, VBZ’s spokesperson said the company saw no reason to refuse them as “we are open to all advertising customers”.

Besides, the content of the advertisement is true: a monthly ticket for public transport in Zurich costs 85 francs, while EasyJet flights to the new destinations cost less.

If you have any questions about life in Switzerland, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

 

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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/10/24 01:58

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