Plans for closer ties between Switzerland and the European Union threatened a bonfire of Swiss labor law. Liberals attacked trade unions for holding up the talks — but organized labor was right to prioritize workers’ rights above the European project.
Chris Kelley is the codirector of the construction department of the Swiss union Unia. He completed his dissertation in social sciences in 2017 on union strategies in the changing Swiss construction industry.
Workers on Switzerland’s construction sites have been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic. Bosses’ efforts to use the crisis to undermine established labor rights have prompted an impressive wave of resistance.