Swiss Voters Reject Hiking Minimum Wage To World's Highest Level
Swiss voters resoundingly rejected a measure that would have hiked the country's minimum wage to the highest level in the world.
If approved, the referendum would have raised the national minimum wage to $25 an hour. Bloomberg reports that 76.3 percent of voters no on the measure.
"Trade unions sponsored the wage proposal as way of fighting poverty in a country that, by some measures, features some of the world's highest prices. But opinion polls indicated that most voters side with government and business leaders, who have argued it would cost jobs and erode economic competitiveness.
"Switzerland currently has no minimum wage, but the median hourly wage is about 33 francs ($37) an hour.
"The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development lists the highest current minimum wage as Luxembourg' at $10.66 an hour, followed by France at $10.60, Australia at $10.21, Belgium at $9.97, and the Netherlands at $9.48. The U.S. minimum wage of $7.25 came tenth on the list. The OECD adjusted figures for spending power."
Taking the long view, The Guardian reports that this referendum follows many campaigns across the world for higher basic wages.
Seattle for example has a plan to raise the minimum wage in that state to $15 an hour.
"Next month the Bundestag is due to vote on a bill to introduce Germany's first national minimum wage of €8.50 [$11.64]," The Guardian adds. Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.