Swissmem Statement

November 8, 2023

Swissmem welcomes today’s decisions by the Federal Council: The completion of the exploratory discussions with the EU and the agreement to draft the negotiating position are key milestones in securing the success of the bilateral approach. The Federal Council did not allow itself to get distracted by disruptive actions. The task now is to translate the progress made into successful negotiations in 2024. 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, unnecessary interventions in the flexible labour market such as easing the general applicability of collective employment agreements.

Contrary to all the gloomy predictions, the “Bilateral III” package is taking shape – and not before time. 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 access to this vast 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.