Switzerland introduces the highest minimum wage in the world

Hailey Almonte, Senior Editor

Switzerland has recently introduced a minimum wage of $25 (23 Swiss francs) an hour.

Minimum wage has been an ongoing topic of discussion due to how many people work for minimum wage. It is often argued that the minimum wage should be higher, as it is difficult to make a living out of it. Minimum wage is different for every country, and now the highest in the world is Switzerland. 

Voters in the canton of Geneva, Switzerland have passed a law to introduce this new minimum wage. Fifty-eight percent of voters in the canton were in favor of raising the minimum wage to 23 swiss francs an hour. 

The voters were asked to answer a simple yes or no question that read “do you accept the popular initiative ‘23 francs is a minimum’?”

The new minimum wage is set to start on November 1st. According to the Geneva State Counselor, Mauro Poggia, the minimum wage would apply to 6% of the canton’s workers.

This new wage is considered to be the one that will be a major accomplishment in history. Communauté Genevoise d’Action Syndicale, also known as the umbrella organization of unions in Geneva, claimed that this is “a historic victory, which will directly benefit 30,000 workers, two-thirds of whom are women.”

The average minimum wage in the United States is $7.25, and $14 is the highest in Washington D.C. It is nearly impossible to make a living out of minimum wage in the U.S, especially in states like New York and California. 

With Switzerland’s minimum wage, however, it will be more efficient for living situations as they will earn on average $4,347 per month. Although living in Geneva can be very expensive, so the money earned would be enough to put them slightly above the poverty line. 

It is believed that the Coronavirus had an influence on whether or not the minimum wage would rise to 23 swiss francs. 

A multinational services network, the Deloitte’s chief economist in Switzerland, Michael Grampp, believed that COVID-19 had an impact on the votes in favor of raising the minimum wage. 

“I think many people realized how many people are working in these sectors. It’s not like everyone here is working for a bank or a chocolate factory. We also have a broad service sector that was hit hard due to the lockdown,” Grampp stated to CNN. 

Raising the minimum wage in America has been a topic of discussion for many years, and there has been much debate on whether or not the average minimum wage of $7, should raise to $15. 

Many people, specifically business owners, argue that raising the minimum wage would cause them to raise the prices of what they sell, and that small business owners would not be able to afford paying their workers. Others argue that raising the minimum wage would improve worker productivity and reduce employee turnover.

It is unclear whether the minimum wage will rise in the United States, but the agreement of raising the minimum wage in Switzerland can be deemed a success for their workers.