- The Swiss Trade Union Confederation (SGB) breaks off the collection of signatures for the initiative “National Bank profits for a strong AHV” and takes the referendum against the BVG reform.
- This emerges from an interview with SGB President Pierre-Yves Maillard.
- The SGB would have had until November 24 to collect the 100,000 signatures needed.
In the interview with the news portal look online Maillard explains that the SGB board decided to break it off.
In view of the massive attacks by the bourgeoisie on pensions, the SGB must join forces and set priorities, he explains the step. Despite the 70,000 signatures already collected for the initiative, attention must first be paid to the reform of occupational pension schemes.
Referendum against BVG reform
That’s why the SGB President announced a referendum against the bill one day before the reform was settled in the National Council’s Commission for Social Security and Health (SGK-N). The SGK-N meets on Thursday and Friday morning.
The head of the SGB no longer sees any chance of finding a viable solution for the occupational pension reform from a trade union perspective. He recalls that there was a compromise between the social partners, which the Federal Council also accepted.
The bourgeois parties swept this compromise off the table, Maillard tells the news portal. With the proposal by the Council of States, employees and employers would now have to pay three billion francs more in contributions per year. In return, the conversion rate falls. This general pension reduction is not acceptable.
The measures in favor of lower incomes and part-time workers are also insufficient for Maillard. In the original compromise, this would have been financed by a solution based on solidarity. Instead, the right-wing parties would have increased the insured salary. That reduces low wages by five percent.
In addition, the citizens in the National Council would plan a further deterioration. Meanwhile, with the turnaround in interest rates, the reduction in the conversion rate, which is decisive for the amount of the pension, has simply become unnecessary. Under these circumstances the referendum is clear.
National Bank profits for 13th AHV
Maillard does not rule out coming back to the National Bank initiative at a later date. In addition, the SGB also wanted to use National Bank profits to finance the 13th AHV pension it had requested through an initiative.
13. AHV pension – that’s what it’s all about
The popular initiative “For a better life in old age (popular initiative for a 13th AHV pension)” submitted by the SGB calls for pensioners to be entitled to a supplement in the amount of a 13th monthly pension. The trade unions want to cover the annual costs of around 3.5 billion Swiss francs with profits from the National Bank.
The Federal Council recommends rejecting the initiative because of the costs and the unequal treatment of AHV pensioners and recipients of IV and survivors’ pensions. He is not requesting a counter-proposal – whether indirect or direct. The National Council also voted against the initiative. The decision of the Council of States is still pending, and its commission is also against the initiative.
When asked whether the central bank’s current loss of CHF 132 billion was realistic, the trade unionist referred to the years of profits. The present loss is historic and could not have been foreseen.
Basically, for Maillard, high national bank profits are in the right place with the AHV. Today the central bankers did what they wanted with the profits. For years they had hoarded their surpluses, now they are gone.