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Sun May 18, 2014, 02:02 PM

Swiss decline on raising the minimum wage.


Swiss voters have rejected a proposed hourly minimum wage of $US25 ($A27) - which would have been the world's highest - in one of the planet's priciest nations.
Only 23 per cent of Swiss voters came out in favour of introducing a minimum wage in Switzerland so high it could pass for mid-management pay elsewhere, the gfs.bern polling institute said in a projection of Sunday's referendum results.


The Decent Salary initiative insists that at least 22 Swiss francs ($A27) an hour, or 4000 francs ($A4885) a month, is needed to get by in the wealthy Alpine nation.
Backers of the initiative want Switzerland to go from having no minimum wage to boasting the world's highest, far above the $US7.25 ($A7.74) in the United States, 9.43 euros ($A13.80) in France, 5.05 euros in Spain and the recently agreed 8.50 euros in Germany, set to take effect next year.


But the initiative, which has drawn envious and incredulous attention from abroad, appeared sure to flop, with voters heeding warnings from opponents, including the government, that the sky-high minimum wage would deal a death blow to many businesses and would weaken Switzerland's healthy economy.
"This minimum wage would put jobs in danger and would make accessing the labour market even more difficult for youths and those with few qualifications," Bern has warned.


Supporters counter that higher basic wages would boost the purchasing power of some 330,000 people, or one in 10 employees in the country.
"I really have trouble living on my salary," Portuguese hotel maid Alcina Esteves de Almeida told AFP, whose gross monthly salary is 3400 francs.
"I have to give up a lot, and I often can't eat properly," said the 52-year-old, who works at a luxury Geneva hotel.
Like de Almeida, around 90 per cent of those living on less than the proposed minimum wage are foreign nationals, without a right to vote in Sunday's referendum, an editorial in the Le Temps daily's weekly edition noted.

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Reply Swiss decline on raising the minimum wage. (Original post)
littlewolf May 2014 OP
Wounded Bear May 2014 #1

Response to littlewolf (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 02:14 PM

1. I sometimes wonder if some of these initiatives are false flag efforts...

Proposing a min-wage that is too high will not pass muster any more than too low. People are not that stupid, and most recognize that there are limits to what can be done in a practical sense. This was one of those IMHO.

It's why I don't necessarily support the national movement to $15 dollars that has been in the news lately. I do support the $10 movement in Congress, and would like to see it as high as $12 within 5 years, but $15 is a bit much. Local efforts based on local conditions, I can see higher numbers being reasonable, but not nationally.

Initiatives like this can have a chilling effect when they fail. It's hard to get another more reasonable suggestion on the ballot once that occurs. It's like health care, where it seems we couldn't get anything even proposed more than once in a generation.

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