Thousands of workers gathered on 22 September in Bern, Switzerland demanding the industrial sector be saved. Four local unions called for the strengthening of the collective labour agreement (CLA) and secure jobs.
The event was held in the rain, at the Federal Square in the heart of Bern. The national demonstration was organized by IndustriALL Global Union affiliate UNIA, together with Syndicom, the Association du personnel de la Confédération (APC) and the local transport union (SEV).
Unions called on the authorities and economic actors to mobilize to save the industrial sector rather than "indulge banks". The rally came two weeks after the elimination of 225 jobs by the mechanical engineering manufacturer Tornos in Moutier and in La Chaux-de-Fonds was announced.
UNIA members are the industry. They want to secure their jobs in the industry, they want decent working conditions and they want to have a real economy with production. These are the objectives of IndustriALL and we extend our solidarity and support in their fight,
said Kemal Ozkan, Assistant General Secretary of IndustriALL, at the demonstration in Bern on the 22 September.
In Switzerland the Collective Labour Agreement in sectors such as mechanical engineering, electrical equipment and metals will expire at the end of June 2013. Negotiations for its renewal will begin in November between employers and unions.