Swiss to vote on setting minimum wage at $25 an hour

By Kyle Johnson,

Citizens in Switzerland will have a chance on Sunday to vote on whether they want the minimum wage in the country raised and set at $25 an hour, which would be the highest in the world.

The proposed baseline pay was floated by the SGB, which is the country's largest trade union, since the country does not have a set minimum wage, which worried the union, reports CNBC. While some industries in Switzerland have a baseline wage due to collective labor agreements, "the majority of working people in Switzerland do not have such protection," SGB campaign staffer Kristina Schupach said in an email.

If the measure is approved, then the baseline wage would be 22 Swiss francs an hour ($25), guaranteeing 4,000 francs a month ($4,500).

According to CBS News, the country enjoys a high standard of living but does also have a high cost as well, which SGB argued is why there needed to be a minimum wage set at the 22 Swiss francs.

Still, not everyone is excited about a $25 minimum wage as some residents worry it could increase unemployment.

"It's obviously going to drive up labor costs and we would expect the unemployment rate to go up as well," said Richard Dutu, an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development economist said.

"Switzerland has a good track record in the transition between education and the labor market. A high minimum wage would threaten this smooth transition." He doesn't believe the measure will pass as voters worry it might "jeopardize the attractiveness of the Swiss economy."



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