It is an undisputed fact: the cost of living is constantly rising due to inflation. The wages of workers, however, have hardly risen at all, especially in the low-wage sector. The modest wage increases in recent years hardly compensate for the rising cost of living.
The Swiss Commercial Association and Angestellte Schweiz are therefore calling for up to 4.5% more pay from 2024, especially for those companies that did not grant their employees full inflation compensation last year. This means that every business situation must be considered individually within the required framework. The exception is low-wage occupations. There, a loss of real wages must be avoided.
«If you want to retain skilled workers or need to bring them on board, you have to provide money.»
Why does something have to be done, especially in the low-wage sector?
The constantly rising cost of living hits people in the low-wage sector disproportionately hard and has serious consequences: Many of them simply have no more financial reserves and capacities. Therefore, a real wage loss must be avoided in the low-wage sector. The 300 francs more per month give employees in the low-wage sector the security that they will not be in the red at the end of the month despite inflation and price increases.
Why should the companies accept the demands?
There is currently a shift of power in the labour market towards workers. The shortage of skilled workers is an acute problem. The retirement of the baby boomers and the lack of young talent will further exacerbate the skills shortage in the coming years.
«Companies invest in their own future when they offer attractive remuneration,» says Stefan Studer, CEO of Employees Switzerland. «If you want to keep skilled workers or need to bring them on board, you have to provide money.» Because never before have so many people been willing to change jobs. And never has the time been so favourable for them as now.
What are the consequences if there are no wage adjustments?
We see two central consequences if there are no wage adjustments.
- People's purchasing power falls, which has an immediate, negative impact on the economy.
- People in low-wage occupations are disproportionately affected by the steadily rising cost of living.Without wage adjustments, they simply can no longer afford to live. They slip into the poverty trap. We have a social responsibility to protect them from this.
Why do the Commercial Association and Employees Switzerland communicate wage demands jointly?
The Commercial Association and Employees Switzerland are both employee associations with a long tradition, a presence throughout Switzerland and a focus on strengthening employees through fair working conditions and further training. We want to use these competences together for the employees in the middle class.