Trade unions in Switzerland
Compared with other Western European countries, Trade unions play a rather minor role in Switzerland w ith only every fourth employee organized in a union or confederation. The most important organization is the Swiss Trade Union Confederation (SGB or USS) with approximately 385,000 members and 16 individual trade unions. The country has long avoided the need for a minimum wage by allowing collective bargaining to set the base salary for many employees.
Unia is the largest of these with 200,000 members. It merged with the Trade union for Construction and Industry (GBI), the Trade Union for Industry, Trade and Services (SMUV), the VHTL, and actions in 2004. The second largest confederation is Travail.Suisse, which was founded in 2002 in Bern and has approximately 170,000 members.