Geneva has passed a law adding minimum wage and its set limit at 23 Swiss Francs or $25 an hour marks a historic move, making it the first city worldwide to have such a high wage.
Geneva a city in Switzerland voted to give its citizens a minimum wage of 23 Swiss francs ($25) an hour, equal to roughly 3,772 Swiss francs ($4,100) a month or a 41-hour working week, CNBC reported.
However, The Telegraph reported different numbers stating that citizens would be receiving 4,086 Swiss francs (£3,437) or $4445.92 a month.
The Telegraph reports this is the highest minimum wage in the world next to Australia which is £11 per hour. According to the Frontalier European website, an organization representing cross-border workers in France and Switzerland, the new minimum wage increase is set to be implemented later this month on October 17th.
This comes as many countries are struggling with poverty due to joblessness as a result of the ongoing pandemic. There have even been reports in Geneve of citizens in the thousands waiting in line to be served food.
The bill was previously rejected by voters twice in 2011 and 2014. But passed his time with almost two-thirds of the canton of Geneva on Sunday voting in favor of increasing the minimum wage to $25 or 23 Francs.
Geneva is rated one of if not the most expensive city to live in the world. However, due to the pandemic, the city and its citizens have been suffering because it relies on revenue from tourists and business visitors who have been absent. At the height of the crisis, queues more than half a mile long formed at food banks.
Geneva isn’t the first canton in Switzerland to add a minimum wage, it’s the third Swiss canton to adopt one. Jura and Neuchâtel have both introduced a minimum hourly wage of 20 Swiss francs or roughly $21.76 (£16.85).
Starting on October 17th, civilians in Geneva can start to get their lives back together as the guaranteed minimum monthly salary in Geneva for a 41-hour week will be 4,086 Swiss francs (£3,437) or $4445.92. To compare both the U.S. and UK have minimum wages that are under $20 an hour. The U.S. minimum wage which has been pushed for aggressive policy changes over the years with numerous failed bills is only set at $7.25 per hour. While the UK’s highest basic hourly rate is £8.72 ($11.20).
That means that Geneva’s new minimum wage is more than triple that in the U.S. and double that of the UK’s rate. Geneva despite its expense is now looking a lot more attractive for the working-class public. As Geneva is now the only city in the world giving its workers a liveable minimum wage.