This summer is not only remembered because of the warm weather, said hostess Irène Kälin when she opened the stage discussion on Wednesday evening about the free movement of people in the educational center in Baden. Politically it had been very hot in recent weeks. The Aargauer Green National Council, for example, discussed the torn talks between the trade unions and federal councilor Schneider-Ammann about Swiss wage protection measures.
The timing of the discussion with experts, organized by ArbeitAargau and KV Aargau Ost, was just right: not only are there currently negotiations on a framework agreement between Switzerland and the EU with resin. The SVP restriction initiative, which will be presented next week, also puts massive pressure on the free movement of people.
Vasco Pedrina, former co-president of Unia Switzerland, warned the public before the SVP request with a historical assessment of the old system of quotas in Switzerland – the system to which the SVP with their initiative returns and the free movement of persons wants to lift.
The "European defeat"
This was not only inhumane and discriminating with the low salary for foreign workers, so Pedrina. Moreover, despite various restrictive measures, it did not hamper immigration in Switzerland. Only in the early 1990s did Switzerland learn the lessons of "European defeat" and slowly fought for a system change that led to the gradual introduction of the free movement of people in 2002.
Daniel Jositsch also emphasized in his speech the importance of free movement of persons. If they did not exist, thousands of jobs remained unoccupied in Switzerland. The SP Council, however, understands why the agreement also causes inconvenience: on the one hand there is an inevitable potential for abuse. On the other hand, the high wage level in Switzerland raises the risk that workers from EU countries are employed for wages, but for which the accompanying measures apply with their protective functions.
Peter A. Gehler, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Aargau and board member of the scientific industries, spoke for the employer. "The old quota system," Gehler recalls, "was very annoying, cumbersome and bureaucratic." It is not uncommon for talents from the EU region to wait half a year – a deadline in which many interested parties will resume their application. Only since the introduction of the free movement of persons has Switzerland been able to recruit a shortage of labor, specifically and in accordance with the economic situation.
Be smart and negotiate
After the speeches, the moderator Irène Kälin opened the discussion. Especially the failed negotiations between the trade unions and the Federal Council were a problem. It soon became clear that Vasco Pedrina and Daniel Jositsch did not have the hay on the same stage at the moment. "We are in front of a framework agreement, but we are not prepared to further weaken our personnel protection system", Pedrina defended the suspension of the talks. He added, "If we learn from history, or we drive to the wall with the car!"
After this statement Jositsch burst open the collar. "Where do you accept that impudence?" He snarled against the ex-Unia man. "The trade unions are waiting for the EU to cross them. But that does not work! "According to the Council of States, Switzerland has made good progress with the EU through its bilateral treaties over the last three decades, and it would be fatal for Switzerland to be so overbearing in negotiations with Brussels." Jositsch warned: "Switzerland is smaller and weaker, so we have to be smart and negotiate. Do not play it lightly. »