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Unions demand financial reward for efforts during Covid crisis

Trade union representatives argue employees are entitled to higher wages as the Swiss economy has picked up from the Covid crisis. Keystone/Anthony Anex

The Trade Union Federation has called for a blanket salary rise for all employees as the Swiss economy recovers from the Covid-19 crisis.

Switzerland’s main trade union umbrella group said employees should be entitled to a salary increase of at least 2% or CHF100 ($109) per month.

Trade union president Pierre-Yves Maillard said the raise would compensate for their efforts during the pandemic as well as for the growing inflation of around 1%.

Trade union chief economist Daniel Lampart said wage levels had stagnated over the past few years while productivity and profits had increased.

The federation, which represents around 370,000 employees from 20 different unions, said women in low-paid jobs deserved a substantive pay rise.

Monthly minimum salaries should be at least CHF4,000, the federation said.

Last month, the Travail Suisse trade union group also presented its demands, calling for pay hikes of up to 1.75% in some sectors and a general increase for low-paid workers.

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