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Debate on the minimum wage - nobody is really happy - except Brutschin

In the Grand Council there is heated discussion about the sense and nonsense of a minimum wage. In the end, with the counter-proposal, you decide in favor of the compromise.

In the early morning, many commoners reappear a bit of hope, their heads are immediately put together: Toya Krummenacher (SP) has submitted an amendment to the minimum wage law, a harmless one, but nevertheless - if it got through, there would be for the many civil opponents maybe there is still a chance to reject the counter-proposal drawn up by the Economic and Tax Commission (WAK). They hoped for this scenario, because they already knew: This is the only way they can avert defeat.

Hope should remain. Krummenacher withdraws her application shortly after the discussion began, the proponents have seen through the planned game of the opponents. The union woman doesn't seem to be really happy with this; she insinuates, at least involuntarily, from Parliament that human dignity is having a hard time in this room. After a reprimand from the President of the Grand Council Salome Hofer, she immediately apologized for this choice of words.

In the end, this is how it could be expected in advance: The Grand Council says no to the initiative and clearly yes to the counter-proposal (55 to 38).

Minimum wage: that's what it's about

Like the government, the Economic and Tax Commission (WAK) of the Basel Grand Council advocates the introduction of a minimum wage in the city canton of 21 francs. It proposes a counter-proposal to the “No wages below 23 francs” initiative. Generally binding collective and normal employment contracts that already contain minimum wages are to be excluded from the cantonal minimum wage. The cantonal minimum wage should also not apply to internships with a duration of six months. Furthermore, internships should only be able to be extended without a minimum wage if a signed apprenticeship contract is available after six months and, according to the proposal of the WAK, “a longer internship is required both in the context of industry-specific training courses and in the tertiary sector”. (sb)

This was preceded by an intensive debate in which both sides wanted to explain again why they are in principle for or against a state-regulated minimum wage. Jérôme Thiriet (Green Alliance), bicycle courier company, says, for example, that a minimum wage also protects small businesses in low-wage sectors - otherwise these areas are even more threatened with being infiltrated by dumping providers. Other left voters support the counter-proposal, which goes far too little for them, a lot more contrite. But at least it is a first step in the right direction.

The opponents from the bourgeois camp mostly followed the arguments of the business associations. Saskia Schenker, director of the employers' association, says on their behalf: "A minimum wage law creates a politicized parallel system to social partnership that is balanced and successful." There are areas of low wages in which people who are in a difficult situation can find work. For example people who have no training. “The fear is that such jobs with a minimum wage law will disappear. That is anything but social. "

Business director is satisfied

FDP President Luca Urgese adds that it would be naive to believe that the counter-proposal would not call for any tightening in the future. And SVP parliamentary group president Pascal Messerli is angry about the bourgeois WAK members, who are waving the white flag even before a vote - and asks rhetorically: “If, for example, the Juso submitted a 1: 5 initiative, we would then make a counter-proposal Suggest 1:12? »

WAK President Christophe Haller (FDP) denies these allegations. In his last major appearance as a parliamentarian, he once again made it clear why he advocated a counter-proposal in the commission: There are great fears that the initiative in Basel will have a good chance - the compromise is a reassurance.

The responsible government councilor, Christoph Brutschin (SP), is pleased with the compromise - and praises the WAK for its work, as all ideologies should have given up. He says, visibly satisfied with the agreement that has been reached: "It used to be a shame when the commission did not come to an agreement." Haller returns the praise with a smile: "You can see where Christoph Brutschin learned to politicize sensibly."

This agreement will be short-lived. The voting battle is likely to begin soon, as the ballot box will probably be able to vote in the summer. And the dispute over the tactical approach has led to a civil rift. There is still no unity in sight. It is only clear how the roles will be distributed: The bourgeoisie, now reunited and with the GLP, are against it - the left is for it.

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