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Bilaterals III: Swissmem welcomes decision on negotiating position

Following significant progress in the exploratory discussions, the Federal Council today adopted its position for negotiations with the EU. The time is ripe for securing and further developing the success of the bilateral approach: Swissmem supports the Bilaterals III negotiating package. The association for the Swiss technology industry (mechanical and electrical engineering industries and related technology sectors) will now examine the position in detail and commit to a rapid solution in the coming months. This includes a social media and online campaign which launches today. The following applies regarding the accompanying measures: yes to optimizing existing measures in order to maintain the current level of wage protection; no to any additional interventions.

Martin Hirzel, President of Swissmem, is pleased: "The time is ripe for Bilaterals III. Companies in the technology industry now rapidly need legal certainty regarding market access, the recruitment of skilled workers and the Horizon Europe research programme. An electricity agreement is also within reach. Swissmem is also supporting the Federal Council with its own campaign." 

Swissmem is launching a social media and online campaign for Bilaterals III today: You can find the clips “Everything needs a service. Even the bilateral agreements” and further information at www.swissmem.ch/en/issues/policy/bilaterals-iii.html

55% of exports to EU countries 

The EU market is by far the most important for the technology industry, accounting for 55% of exports. The erosion of the bilateral approach damages the sector and its approximately 330,000 employees and 20,000 apprentices. These companies are reliant on virtually unobstructed access to the vast European single market, the recruitment of specialist staff and participation in research and innovation projects such as Horizon and Copernicus, as well as an electricity agreement to ensure security of supply and network stability. 

No further interventions in the flexible labour market! 

With technical improvements in the implementation of the accompanying measures, the current level of wage protection can be secured — and even optimized thanks to digitalization. Swissmem is strongly opposed to additional interventions in the flexible labour market such as easing the general applicability of collective employment agreements or national minimum wages. These are unnecessary and weaken the companies’ competitiveness.  

For further information please contact: 

Ivo Zimmermann, Head of Communications
Tel. +41 44 384 48 50 / mobile +41 79 580 04 84
E-mail i.zimmermannnoSpam@swissmem.ch 

Philippe Cordonier, Head of Swissmem Romandie
Tel. +41 21 613 35 85 / mobile +41 79 644 46 77
E-mail p.cordoniernoSpam@swissmem.ch 

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Last update: 15.12.2023