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Switzerland rejects world's highest minimum wage

May 18 2014, 21:22

Votes were held on a number of issues with the minimum wage attracting the most attention.Votes were held on a number of issues with the minimum wage attracting the most attention.Swiss voters have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to introduce what would have been the highest minimum wage in the world in a referendum, bbc.com reports.

Under the plan, employers would have had to pay workers a minimum 22 Swiss francs (about $25; £15; 18 euros) an hour.

Supporters said the move was necessary for people to live a decent life.

But critics argued that it would raise production costs and increase unemployment.

The minimum wage proposal was rejected by 76% of voters. Supporters had argued it would "protect equitable pay" but the Swiss Business Federation said it would harm low-paid workers in particular.

The issue was the most prominent of several referendums held on Sunday.

A controversial plan to buy 22 Swedish-made Gripen fighter jets for the Swiss Air Force was narrowly rejected by 53% of voters.

Meanwhile, 63% of voters backed a plan to impose a lifelong ban on convicted paedophiles working with children.

But it was the trade union-backed proposal to ensure that an annual salary was not less than £32,000 ($53,600) a year that provoked the most debate.

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