Switzerland Holds Referendum on EUR 3300 Minimum Wage

Photo by EPA/BGNES

Switzerland is holding a referendum on introducing a minimum wage of EUR 3300, or EUR 18 per hour, the highest minimum wage in the world.

The minimum wage proposal is initiated by trade unions and left-wing parties.

According to a survey published on May 7, as cited by Bulgarian daily Sega, 64% of Swiss nationals will oppose the measure, 30% will vote for it and 6% have not made up their minds.

If approved, the Minimum Wage Initiative would lift pay for 9% of Switzerland's workforce, according to the Swiss Trades Union Confederation, as cited by The Wall Street Journal.

Local trade unions say most of Switzerland's low-paid workers operate in the sphere of personal services (hairdressing, beauty care, laundries), retail trade, and the hospitality industry, and the majority of them are women, according to the BBC News.

Supporters of the measure insist on the high living costs, while opponents argue that it would raise production costs and increase unemployment.

Swiss nationals are also voting on a number of other proposals on Sunday, including a plan to buy new Swedish-made Gripen fighter jets for the Swiss Air Force, a lifelong ban against convicted paedophiles working with children and a set of measures aimed at improving the healthcare system.

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