Geneva will increase its minimum wage to almost four thousand euros a month, making it the highest in the world in this category, after the population approved the measure in an unexpected vote, advances The Guardian.
According to the British newspaper, the vote was motivated by several reports that the Swiss city was being “invaded” by an unprecedented increase in poverty, caused by the public health crisis of the new coronavirus.
The 500,000 voters approved the increase proposed by local unions and left-wing parties, after rejecting it twice in 2011 and 2014.
In one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, the hourly minimum wage will increase to around 21 euros, in a guaranteed minimum monthly wage of 4,086 Swiss francs (4,086 euros), based on a 41-hour workweek, or 49 thousand Swiss francs (45,384 euros) per year.
France 3 television station said that the measure came after the Swiss city, whose economy depends on tourists and business visitors, was hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 epidemic.
Michel Charrat, president of the Groupement transfrontalier européen, an independent organization that supports those who live and work on the Franco-Swiss border, described the result of the vote as a “mark of solidarity” with the city’s poorest.
«Covid-19 showed that a certain part of the Swiss population cannot live in Geneva. Four thousand Swiss francs is the minimum not to fall below the poverty line and be in a very difficult situation, ”said Charrat, adding that the measure would benefit 30,000 underpaid workers, two-thirds of them women.
Before Sunday’s vote, Alexander Eniline of the Swiss Labor Party (PST-POP) said: “The introduction of a minimum wage is a fundamental requirement of justice and an essential measure against precariousness”.
The minimum wage increase was approved by about 58% of Geneva voters and the measure went into effect on 17 October. In a national vote, also on Sunday, the Swiss rejected a proposal from the right to limit immigration from member countries of the European Union (EU).