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Geneva introduces 23 Swiss francs (P1,200) per hour minimum wage

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Oct 05, 2020 1:31 am

Voters in the Swiss city of Geneva — famous for its private banks and luxury watchmaking—recently voted in favor to introduce of 23 Swiss francs (about P1,200) per hour minimum wage for its workers, which is reported to be the highest in the world.

This makes Geneva the fourth canton in Switzerland to have approved a minimum wage. There are 26 cantons in Switzerland, which are the member states of the Swiss Confederation.

The measure, which was initially rejected by voters in 2011 and 2014, reportedly came after the city’s tourist-dependent economy was pummeled by the COVID-19 pandemic with concern about the growing number of people who line up at food banks. This measure was also reportedly supported by labor unions and directed at “fighting poverty, favoring social integration, and contributing to the respect of human dignity.”

With 23 Swiss francs per hour wage for a 41-hour workweek, workers in Geneva will be paid a minimum of 3,772 Swiss francs or almost P200,000 per month. (Metro Manila’s minimum daily wage for non-agricultural workers is at P537 since 2018.)

According to reports, this increase will benefit more than 30,000 poor workers.

Geneva is known as one of the most expensive cities in the world according to Mercer’s 2020 global cost of living survey, where the city placed ninth. Swiss cities Zurich is at No. 4, making it the most expensive European city; and Bern at No. 8, which was up four spots from 2019.

Switzerland is considered one of the wealthiest countries in the world and it is also one of the one of the happiest nations according to the World Happiness Report. Its cities including Zurich, Geneva and Basel are among the cities in the world with the highest quality of living.

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