It is an undisputed fact: food, public transport tickets, electricity prices, health insurance premiums - life is getting more expensive. The reasons: Price increases and inflation. Employees in low-wage jobs are disproportionately affected, but the pressure is also real for middle-class employees, especially for families.
This is because workers' wages have barely increased. The modest wage increases in recent years hardly compensate for the rising cost of living.
We demand: 4.5% more wages
The Swiss Commercial Association and Angestellte Schweiz are therefore demanding up to 4.5% more wages from 2024, especially for those companies that did not grant their employees the full cost-of-living adjustment last year. This means that each company's situation must be considered individually within the required framework.
300 francs more for low-wage occupations
Low-wage professions are an exception. There, a loss of real wages must be avoided. Employees who earn less than 4,200 francs in full-time employment should receive 300 francs more per month. In this way, employees in low-wage occupations have the security that they will not be in the red at the end of the month despite inflation and price increases.
«If you want to retain skilled workers or need to bring them on board, you have to provide money.»
Why has life become more expensive?
There are many reasons for inflation and price increases. During the covid pandemic, there were many supply shortages and higher transport costs. We are still feeling the consequences of that. In Ukraine, a lot of agricultural fertiliser and fodder is produced, and these have become scarcer and more expensive due to the war. This has an impact on food prices. In addition, there are crop failures due to the consequences of global warming such as floods and droughts.
Why should the companies respond to 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 shortage of skilled workers in the coming years.
«Companies invest in their own future when they offer attractive remuneration,», says Stefan Studer, CEO of Angestellte Schweiz. «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.