The highest minimum wage of the world, amounting to 4,000 francs per month or about 3,300 euros are at stake in the referendum to be held on May 18 in the country that has perhaps the largest integrated delivery referendums on policy delivery, Switzerland. The country with one of the highest living standards in the world, but also one of the highest price levels, conducting four referendums time puts its citizens the question whether they agree with the determination of the amount for most of Eurozone austerity, as the minimum wage. So far, however, there is no minimum wage in Switzerland. In reality, however, 90% of the workers in Switzerland have a higher salary and only 10%, which represents 330,000 workers, mostly women, are paid with a lower wage.
However, the outcome of the referendum remains uncertain in a country that often surprised by the results of the referenda. That’s because the country is situated with about 300 banks, with the result that voters often align themselves with their bankers. In 2012, for example, they voted against a proposal which required employers to give to the employee six paid weeks off work every year. Last year, however, they voted for a measure that gave shareholders a binding vote of companies for setting the remuneration of executives, but rejected a measure that limits the pay of directors at 12 times the salary of younger employees.
A poll of the company gfs.bern published on April 11 says that 52% of the voters intend to reject the proposal, but another company poll from Leger conducted last month the same proportion to shares and intends to vote for the measure. If, however, the vote is positive, it is the highest in the world, according to OECD data, clearly higher than that in Luxembourg, France and Australia. The measure certainly has the support of the largest labor unions in the country claiming the need to reflect the salary level of prices in the country. Large industries, such as pharmaceutical companies Nestle and Novartis, but also the Swatch Group oppose the measure and argue that it will hurt the economy as it will push upwards all wages, including the already high ones.
By Nicole P.