Switzerland is certainly being watched with a close eye by the many countries around the world that have increasingly struggling economies. Earlier this year, the neutral nation voted on a referendum that would give a minimum monthly wage of the equivalent of $2,800 for all workers. Now, the country is voting on a referendum that would limit the pay of corporate executives to 12 times that of the company’s lowest-paid employee.
David Roth, head of the youth wing of the Social Democratic Party, compared the situation in Switzerland to that of the United States while speaking with NPR.
“I think we have to change something, because otherwise we’ll go in a direction like the USA did in the last decade where people get homeless, for example, and other people had millions of dollars. It’s a big problem if you have such inequality in a rich country,” Roth said.
Roth also explained that corporate workers earn on average more than 40 times as much as their company’s lowest-paid worker. He and his fellow party members coordinated the upcoming vote by collecting 100,000 signatures on a petition. The referendum, referred to as the 1:12 initiative, would have impact nation-wide. To become a law, however, the referendum needs a majority victory both nation-wide and in each of Switzerland’s 26 cantons. The voting is scheduled to take this Sunday.
Although the victory is unlikely, the initiative represents a growing concern over income disparity throughout the globe, especially in Europe.