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Swiss To Vote On Proposed Minimum Monthly Wage Of US$2,800

October 11, 2013, 6:00 PM

What's the Latest Development?

After receiving a petition containing 120,000 signatures, the Swiss government will vote on a measure that, if passed, would provide every member of the working adult population with a minimum monthly wage of CHF2,500 (US$2,800). This minimum would apply to all jobs, even the lowest-paying ones. The exact date of the vote has not been set, but it could happen before the end of this year.  Basic Income Initiative co-founder Enno Schmidt thinks its passage could represent a significant historical moment "like the abolition of slavery, or the civil rights movement."

What's the Big Idea?

By Swiss law, petitions that garner more than 100,000 signatures are brought to a government vote. One of these, scheduled for November 24, will determine whether CEO pay will be limited to 12 times that of the company's lowest-paid employees. The funds for the minimum monthly wage initiative would most likely come from Switzerland's social insurance system, which has caused concern among older citizens, says another Basic Income Initiative co-founder, Che Wagner: "They have fear, of course, for their pensions, and don’t instantly get that this is a replacement of an old system."

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