30 October 2003
At the end of September 2003, Swisscom and the trade unions agreed on an extension of the collective employment agreement and social plan until the end of 2005 (see press release of 29 September 2003). They also agreed to seek a special solution for Swisscom subsidiary Cablex AG, which employs some 560 staff in Switzerland.
Cablex and the trade unions have agreed on a solution that takes into account the strong competition and high cost pressure faced by Cablex. The company operating in network construction and maintenance needs to reduce costs in order to maintain the order volume and safeguard employment.
The agreement comprises participation of Cablex in Swisscom's collective employment agreement in 2004 and a Cablex employment agreement in 2005 and 2006. There will be no salary increases in 2004 and 2005 and salaries which are well above average will be reduced by up to 4.5 percent on an individual basis by 1 January 2005.
In return the social partners agreed on an employment guarantee until the end of 2005 and Cablex's aim to do everything in its power to retain jobs once the guarantee has expired. In addition, employment-enhancing working time models are to be introduced. Employees have the option of requesting a reduction in their working hours (36 hours or 32 hours for staff aged over 50) and Cablex will provide 50% of the financing for the models. The Swisscom social plan will remain in force at Cablex until the end of 2005, with a Cablex social plan being negotiated from 2006 if required. The agreement is supplemented by a hardship fund.
In concluding this agreement, Cablex and the trade unions are reaffirming a social partnership geared towards safeguarding jobs, particularly in difficult economic times.
The supplementary contract and Cablex employment agreement are still to be approved by the decision-making bodies of the contracting partners.
Bern, 30 October 2003