Tag Archive: Work

Executives still paid exorbitant salaries at big Swiss firms

The gap between the top-paid and least-paid employees of the 39 largest companies in Switzerland remains high, despite a 2013 vote against excessive executive pay. According to Switzerland's largest trade union, Unia, in 2017 the average ratio between top and bottom in these companies was 1:143.

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Over 1,000 jobs threatened by OVS liquidation

The Sempione Retail company, owner of the OVS fashion stores in Switzerland, has begun bankruptcy proceedings. Some 140 outlets will close their doors, with 1,150 workers affected. The Italian clothes brand announced in a statement on Wednesday evening that it had reached a financial dead-end.

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Swiss unemployment lower than it’s been in years

The Swiss unemployment rate was 2.7% in April – a level last seen in July 2012. Last month, 119,781 people were registered as without work in Switzerland – 10,632 fewer than the previous month. This brought the overall unemployment rate down from 2.9% in March to 2.7% in April, reported the State Secretariat for Economic Affairsexternal link on Tuesday.

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Thousands of Swiss take to streets to mark May Day

Workers and activists have been celebrating May Day in Switzerland with rallies in numerous cities urging their government to address employment issues, such as equal pay. Around 50 rallies and events are planned across Switzerland. On Tuesday morning, 13,000 took part in a demonstration in Zurich city centre. Other major rallies were held in Basel in the morning, and in Bern and Geneva in the afternoon.

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Unions seek to blacklist Swiss firms that underpay women

The workers’ union umbrella group Travail Suisse is calling for the introduction of a blacklist to shame Swiss companies that fail to pay women and men equally. This is one of 28 recommendations which feature in a position paper published by Travail Suisse external linkon Monday, on the eve of International Workers’ Day.

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Swiss travel and watch firms named best places to work

Swiss International Air Lines has been ranked as the most attractive employer in a survey on the 150 largest companies in Switzerland. Zurich Airport came in second, followed by watchmaker Patek Philippe. The survey, published by Dutch recruitment agency Randstadexternal link on Thursday, asked 4,800 people aged 18-65 where they would like to work.

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Cross-border workers in Geneva face ‘toxic’ environment

Cross-border workers are tired of being the target of political attacks in Geneva, says the president of a French-Swiss cross-border lobby group, who calls for a change in current rhetoric to prevent future damage to the Swiss economy. For Michel Charrat, president of the Groupement transfrontalier européenexternal link, disenchantment between Geneva and its cross-border workers may be at its lowest point.

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Drive for women in top jobs suffers setback

The percentage of women in top executive positions dropped slightly in Switzerland last year, a report has found. The annual survey by the Schilling human resource consultancyexternal link shows a 1% drop to 7% in 2017 compared with the previous year. In 2016, the share of women in company executive positions had risen by 2%, raising hopes of a strong increase over the years to come.

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Government proposes new pension reform guidelines

The Swiss government on Friday fixed the outlines of a new state pension reform plan, including raising VAT to fund it, and raising the retirement age for women from 64 to 65. The proposed reform is to be financed by an increase in VAT of up to 1.7%. Home Affairs Minister Alain Berset, who oversees social security and pension issues, is to submit a detailed proposal for consultation by lawmakers before the summer break.

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UN’s Geneva staff planning a strike over pay cuts

Employees of the United Nations in Geneva are planning a half-day strike on Tuesday to protest against wage cuts. The work stoppage would take place during a busy week, with dozens of ministers and officials expected at various events. "We have tried other forms of protest in vain before," said Ian Richards, head of the Staff Coordinating Council at United Nations Office at Geneva, on Sunday. "They left us no choice."

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Lake Geneva Region Attracts Most Cross-Border Workers

Switzerland continues to attract large volumes of cross-border workers, notably in the Lake Geneva region and around the city of Basel. At the end of last year, 318,002 people were crossing the border each day to work in Switzerland, according to data published by the Federal Statistics Officeexternal link on Friday. This is an increase of 1.7% compared with December 2016.

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Swisscom reports job cuts, data breach

The Swiss telecom company, whose majority shareholder is the government, announced plans to reduce up to 700 jobs by the end of the year as part of cost-cutting measures. It also revealed a data breach of client information. “By the end of 2018, Swisscom expects to have a headcount of around 17,000 FTEs [full-time employees] in Switzerland, around 700 fewer than at the end of 2017,” said a company statementexternal link released on Wednesday.

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Swiss court condemns €8 per hour wages of Polish workers

A labour court in Geneva has ruled against a Polish subcontractor that underpaid its seconded employees working on a Geneva building site. The workers were earning €8 an hour, about a third of what the work warranted, the court said. The case has been ongoing for almost five years and was led by the UNIA trade union on behalf of the workers.

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Jobless in Switzerland need more education, say social groups

Two leading Swiss organisations for social action and further education have called for big investment in training opportunities for the unemployed. At a press conference on Monday in Bern, the Swiss Conference of Social Institutions and the Swiss Federation for Further Education called on the state to invest in a schemeexternal link that they say could send 75,000 unemployed back into the job market.

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Number of unemployed in Switzerland drops by 4 percents

The Swiss unemployment rate fell from 3.3% in 2016 to 3.2% in 2017, according to figures released by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) on Tuesday. In terms of actual numbers, 143,142 people were registered as unemployed, a decrease of 6,175 compared with the year before.

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Trade Unions Call for Fewer Hours, More Gender Equality

The Swiss Trade Union Federation is demanding shorter work weeks, compensation for pension losses and enforcement of equal pay for men and women. At its annual media conference in Bern on Thursday, the Swiss Trade Union Federationexternal link pointed out that employees have been suffering since the financial crisis.

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Switzerland drops in international pension ranking

The Swiss pension system has ranked eighth in an annual international study looking at the sustainability and efficiency of retirement schemes. This represents a drop of four places in the past two years, largely driven by sustainability issues.The Global Pension Indexexternal link, published by consulting group Mercer, ranks 30 countries according to a methodology based on adequacy (the design of the system), sustainability (breadth of coverage,...

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Switzerland ranks highly in youth employment survey

Switzerland has the second-best labour market for young Europeans behind Denmark, according to a ranking of over 30 countries. Denmark came top, followed by Switzerland, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands in the latest KOF Youth Labour Market Indexexternal link, which analysed the year 2015. The ranking is produced annually by the Economic Institute (KOF) at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ).

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Swiss expats buck the pension reform trend

Unlike their compatriots in Switzerland, Swiss voters who live abroad came out massively in favour of a wide-ranging overhaul of Switzerland’s old-age pension scheme.  Eleven of Switzerland’s 26 cantons count the votes of Swiss expats separately. An analysis of Sunday’s results shows that in nine of these cantons more than 70% of Swiss abroad backed the “Old Age Security 2020” package, which aimed to guarantee the future financing of...

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Unions demand 2 percent wage increase as economy improves

Staff should start enjoying the benefits of Switzerland’s improving economic performance, says the country’s second-largest trade union group, Travail. Suisse, which is demanding a 2% salary increase for workers. “It’s been some time since the economic perspectives have looked this positive. The forecasts announce solid and lasting economic growth. This recovery must have an impact on employees,” Travail.

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