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Swiss Government Must Protect its Workers

Swiss Government Must Protect its Workers and Liechtenstein Must Join the ILO

Brussels, 15 December 2008: A new ITUC report on core labour standards in Switzerland and Liechtenstein issued today to coincide with the trade policy review at the WTO denounces the lack of adequate protection for workers in Switzerland.

Furthermore, Liechtenstein which is a member of the United Nations has not joined the ILO. "Liechtenstein's situation is regrettable," said Guy Ryder, ITUC General Secretary. "The ILO has an established track record in providing legitimate protections to workers that is used in all countries of the world, from the richest nations to the least developed. It is the only tripartite UN body which brings governments and the social partners together. The ITUC calls upon the Government of Liechtenstein to join the ILO and through it, to protect its own workers and to add its efforts towards the promotion of decent work throughout the world."

With regard to Switzerland, although it has ratified all the ILO core conventions some aspects of its legislation are not in conformity with international standards. In particular the law does not provide for the reinstatement of trade unionists abusively dismissed. According to the report, in practice workers' right to negotiate collectively encounters significant difficulties that the Government is failing to address. In addition the persistence of limitations on the right to strike has not been adequately tackled by Swiss Federal authorities.

According to the report, in both countries discrimination at work against women and non-European minorities is a recurrent problem. Women remain overrepresented in low-skilled jobs and the Swiss public authorities have recognised that a substantive part of the gender pay gap is due to discrimination. Non-European minorities face various forms of discrimination including in hiring.


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