Swiss voters resoundingly rejected on Sunday a proposed minimum wage that would have been the world’s highest, a move widely seen as reflecting an aversion to state intervention in the liberal economic policies that are the bedrock of Switzerland’s prosperity.Seeing this, I truly feel that we are following the right strategy by starting in Blue cities and states with the push to $15. It has to be incremental or it won't fly. Even here in SF, where the min wage is just shy of $11, I think a vote to push it to $15 in one fell swoop will be close.
Trade unions had sought a minimum hourly wage of 22 Swiss francs, or $24.65, in what they said was an effort to ensure fair salaries for workers in the country’s lowest-paid sectors, such as retail and personal services. Switzerland currently has no national minimum wage.
The proposed rate — considerably higher than elsewhere in Europe and well above the $10.10 sought by President Obama in the United States — found little support in a national referendum, with 76.3 percent opposed, according to initial results released by the government.
Switzerland, as one of the world’s most prosperous countries and home to major international banks and hedge funds, as well as big chemical, pharmaceutical and machinery companies, might seem to be an unlikely venue for a debate on wage disparity. But unions argued that many people in the lowest-paying sectors of the economy struggle to make ends meet because their wages have not kept up with a cost of living that is one of the highest in the world.
Seattle is the one to watch. I'm hopeful.