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Geneva will now have the highest minimum wage in the world, whereby it has almost tripled this figure in the United States and almost doubled the figure in London.
The rising cost of living brought about by the devastating market crisis has prompted the Swiss City of Geneva to unanimously vote for a general increase in minimum wage for all workers. According to the outcome of the voting, nearly two-thirds of the canton of Geneva on Sunday voted in favor of introducing the minimum wage. Hereby, every employee in Geneva is now entitled to a minimum wage of 23 Swiss francs ($25) an hour, equal to roughly 3,772 Swiss francs ($4,100) a month for a 41-hour working week.
The new directions are set to be implemented this month, according to the Groupement Transfrontalier Européen website, an organization representing cross-border workers in France and Switzerland.
“Covid has shown that a certain section of the Swiss population cannot live in Geneva … 4,000 (Swiss francs) is the minimum to not fall below the poverty line and find yourself in a very difficult situation,” Michel Charrat, president of the Groupement Transfrontalier Européen, told the Guardian.
Swiss City of Geneva Leads the Way with Its Higher Minimum Wage
Notably, Geneva will now have the highest minimum wage in the world, whereby it has almost tripled the figure in the United States and almost doubled the figure in London.
Charrat noted that the new measure would benefit 30,000 low-paid workers, whereby two-thirds of them are women.
A significant number of Geneva politicians have united in this matter to ensure people living in hardships get assistance they need. However, a section of the opposition raised an alarm that the measure would hurt the struggling economy.
“The introduction of a minimum wage is a fundamental requirement of justice, and an essential measure against precariousness,” Alexander Eniline of the Swiss Labour party (PST-POP) indicated.
Wages in Switzerland can be regulated, or not, by authorities in the country’s 26 cantons. Two other cantons, the Jura and Neuchâtel, have already introduced the same 20 Swiss franc (£18.51) hourly wage. However, the rest of the country has no such measures.
Despite its relatively small size compared to other Swiss cantons, the canton of Geneva generates the fourth largest GDP of the country. Notably, the city enjoys the third-largest GDP per capita in the country behind Basel-City and Zug.
Being a service-driven economy, the city is mainly dominated by the financial sector, commodity trading, trade finance, and wealth management. The city has some of the highest-ranking companies making watches including Rolex. The city also holds some of the largest corporations headquarters including the United Nations.
Other cities will be watching closely how the new measure affect its economy in a bid to understand whether to raise the minimum wage in future.