The ETUC supports Swiss unions in their defence of accompanying measures

Luca Visentini

Letter sent to Ms Federica Mogherini,  High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and to Ms Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility


Dear High Representative Mogherini, dear Commissioner Thyssen,

In recent days, the ETUC has taken note of the debate in Switzerland on the accompanying measures introduced in the EU-Swiss bilateral agreements to combat wage and social dumping in the context of the posting of workers and the free movement of persons between Switzerland and the European Union.

The ETUC and its members, the Swiss Trade Union Confederation (USS) and Travail.Suisse, pursue the same goal: the principle of the same salary for the same work in the same place must apply everywhere in Europe. The same salary and working conditions must be guaranteed to all workers, whether posted or resident in Switzerland.

In the EU, we have finally been able to reinforce the Posting of Workers Directive. However, the level of protection of the Directive is lower than the current level of protection already in place between the EU and Switzerland through the accompanying measures.

Because of Switzerland’s geographical location and salary level, the highest in Europe, it needs special protection. This special protection is provided by the accompanying measures. These have proved to be efficient, namely the 8-day rule for the prior announcement of work missions, the guarantee and the risk-based controls organized by the social partners. Accompanying measures protect wages, not borders.

I express my support for the USS and Travail.Suisse in their struggle for wage protection in Switzerland. In particular, I specifically support the USS and Travail.Suisse position on the subject. This is why the accompanying measures should not be included in the negotiating mandate of a framework agreement between the EU and Switzerland.

Luca Visentini

Secretary General of the ETUC