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Swiss unions push referendum on $25 minimum wage

November 6, 2011

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GENEVA—Trade unions in Switzerland claim they have collected enough signatures to force a referendum on a proposal to introduce a minimum wage of 22 Swiss francs ($25) an hour.

That is about twice the minimum wage of 9 euros ($12.40) in neighboring France.

A spokesman for the Swiss Federation of Trade Unions, or SGB, says more than 121,000 people have so far signed the request for a vote.

Peter Lauener told The Associated Press on Sunday that unions will easily be able to submit the 100,000 signatures required to call a referendum next year even after invalid names have been removed from the petition.

The SGB says its proposal will guarantee Swiss workers a monthly wage of 4,000 francs based on a 42-hour work week.