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National
Switzerland rejects world's highest minimum wage
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Switzerland rejects world's highest minimum wage

Switzerland rejects world's highest minimum wage
Photo Credit: FABRICE COFFRINI
A woman casts her ballot during a referendum on May 18, 2014 in Bulle, western Switzerland. Swiss voters are to decide in a referendum on May 18 whether to bring in the world's highest minimum wage, offering each and every worker at least 25 dollars an hour. The Swiss will also be voting on a multi-billion-dollar deal to buy fighter jets from Sweden, and are almost certain to back measures to ban paedophiles from working with children. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Switzerland rejects world's highest minimum wage

It would have been the highest minimum wage in the world, but Swiss voters have rejected a proposal to pay workers the equivalent of $25 an hour.

Early polling results showed about 77 percent of Swiss voters rejected the wage hike. Switzerland currently has no minimum wage, and this measure would have affected about 10 percent of the population. (Via Euronews)

When adjusted for spending power, the Swiss minimum wage proposal would have amounted to about $14 an hour — that's more than the minimum hourly wages in other Western nations with high pay floors — according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Supporters —  mostly trade unions —  argued raising the minimum wage was necessary considering Switzerland’s famously high cost of living in cities like Geneva and Zurich. (Via YouTube / luczw's channel)

But politicians and business leaders fought the proposal. They pointed to Switzerland’s low unemployment of 3.2 percent and expressed concern that raising the minimum wage could cost jobs. (Via BBC

Switzerland's vote comes as several European governments make a similar move to raise the minimum wage. 

Next month Germany’s parliament is set to vote on a proposal to establish the country’s first federal minimum wage.  (Via The Local

In France, President Francois Hollande has raised the minimum wage twice since coming into office. (ViaFrance 24

This was the third time Swiss voters have headed to the polls in the past year two years to vote on issues involving pay. Last year Switzerland voted to limit salaries for executives to 12 times that of a company's lowest salary. 

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