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Old 05.09.2018, 11:00
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Swiss company and unethical practices

Hello Everyone,

Its been a long time since I posted anything worth discussing and now I have a situation which should be disclosed and addressed.

My husband, Asian with a B-Permit, (Kids and myself are with C-Permit) after a long search found a 100% job as Produktionmitarbeiter in a Swiss company [redacted]. The company deals with birds and associated products [redacted]. The company does not have have any Swiss worker in production, all are immigrants from poor European countries. The production work is highly demanding physically.

The work begins at 6.15hr, some days even at 05.15hr. Irrespective of the time he starts working, it always end at 16.30 - 16.45hr (total 10.5 - 11.5hr). He get a proper 15 minutes znüni break and 45-50 minutes lunch break. So the total working time is 9.5-10.5hr. He also has to work on most Saturdays 3.5-4hrs. The work is non-stop with machines meaning you truly do not have a second to free your hands and mind.

Now the killer is they do not have a time log. His contract is for 8 hours Monday-Friday and he gets payed for it. Absolutely no compensation for the extra hours or Saturday work!

What makes it worse is he does not have a place to eat lunch or to take rest. All other workers are living nearby and they go home for lunch break. My husband is eating his lunch sitting under a tree and napping after that there itself. He is already dreading on how it will be when the winter hits on. He has just finished his probation time and afraid to make any demands to the employer worrying he may lose the job. I understand it totally since job slashing once a year is a regular practice in my company.

My husband tells me also about the cruelty to birds there which makes him/me wince. Again he has to keep his mouth shut.

Since I am also working in a Swiss company which keeps high ethical standards, I am agast at what is happening to my husband / birds. To me all these things are unheard off. We were so happy to get a morning-evening job for him so that we can have some family time with kids in the evenings and weekends. All those hopes are down the drain. He comes home so exhaused that he takes a bath, eats dinner, takes pain killers, put anti-inflammatory ointments and goes to bed every evening and on Saturdays.

Friends, any idea how we can improve it now without him losing the job? Also on how can we report it once he leaves this job (I can not wait for that day), so that the other workers and birds will have a better life?

Best regards,
Joy08

Last edited by Guest; 05.09.2018 at 14:56. Reason: Removed information that may identify the employer
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Old 05.09.2018, 11:24
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

Firstly, I would remove all mention of where his employer is based and what they do. Too easy to Google.
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Old 05.09.2018, 11:31
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

https://www.unia.swiss

Become a member of the union and tell them what happens. They will also listen to you if you are not yet a member.

And does he have to travel from ZH to his place of work? That would make me really tired.
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Old 05.09.2018, 11:39
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

Well, I don't think they'll find this, unless somebody leaks the name or any German words directly, I don't think anybody will notice.



The Gemeinde has a directory of companies, so it was rather easy to guess which company is meant.
At least I think so.


You've discovered the ugly underbelly of the Swiss economy: underpaid and overworked workers at the bottom of the pyramid, working low-end menial jobs with no perspective.
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Old 05.09.2018, 11:40
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

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You've discovered the ugly underbelly of the Swiss economy: underpaid and overworked workers at the bottom of the pyramid, working low-end menial jobs with no perspective.
Did you mean prospects?
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Old 05.09.2018, 11:41
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

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Did you mean prospects?



Hm. OK seems a Denglish word has slipped in ;-)
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Old 05.09.2018, 11:53
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

This link discusses time-recording requirements in Switzerland (English):

https://www.kmu.admin.ch/kmu/en/home...ing-hours.html

For no-cost labor law advice, see this link (German):

https://www.anwaltsverbandsg.ch/rech...tsstellen.html
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Old 05.09.2018, 12:11
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https://www.unia.swiss

Become a member of the union and tell them what happens. They will also listen to you if you are not yet a member.

And does he have to travel from ZH to his place of work? That would make me really tired.
Thank you for this. Already sent them a contact message.

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This link discusses time-recording requirements in Switzerland (English):

https://www.kmu.admin.ch/kmu/en/home...ing-hours.html

For no-cost labor law advice, see this link (German):

https://www.anwaltsverbandsg.ch/rech...tsstellen.html
Thank you! I went through it and now I have a feel that the company is registered as agricultural company exempting it from hour recording. I need to investigate it further.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 05.09.2018 at 19:54. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 05.09.2018, 12:17
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

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This link discusses time-recording requirements in Switzerland (English):

https://www.kmu.admin.ch/kmu/en/home...ing-hours.html
Quote:
The regulation of working hours does not apply to the following professional groups:
[...]
Employees of agricultural companies
Working hours in agriculture can be up to 55h/week and only 1.5 days off.
https://www.schweizerbauer.ch/politi...eit-40404.html

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Now the killer is they do not have a time log. His contract is for 8 hours Monday-Friday and he gets payed for it. Absolutely no compensation for the extra hours or Saturday work!
Are you sure he has only 8h per day? Normally agriculture workers get the local standard work contract.

The St. Gallen agriculture standard work contract can be found here:
https://www.gesetzessammlung.sg.ch/f...d/versions/208

No one forbids to keep a private work time journal. I strongly recommend to have one.

Be aware about the distinction of Überzeit and Überstunden (Overtime and extra hours)
https://www.ch.ch/en/overtime-and-extra-hours/
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Old 05.09.2018, 13:40
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

Regarding the cruelty to the birds - a good starting point would be the group Swiss Animal Protection SAP www.animal-protection.net
Perhaps do this through a third party? (to protect the job)
After all the holier than thou drivel I had to read when KFC said they were using chickens from Holland, and how Swiss chickens were brought up in superior conditions, it is quite sad to read that it is possibly worse here.
I think you should report ASAP - with photos - the reality.
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Old 05.09.2018, 13:57
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

I read everywhere that the employers are looking to reduce official working hours by stopping breaks from being seen as official working time and that they now are seen as official working time. So your husband works a total of 10.5 - 11.5hrs daily.

Reading your story I can only advice to go talk to the gemeinde or whomever it concerns instead of keep on going to end up with a burn-out.

He has to start logging working hours himself instantly and in a proper way, if he finds that the animals are treated in a way the law prohibits he should find/create proof of this since who knows what good such can do to him in future.
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Old 05.09.2018, 14:00
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

Please be aware that "cruelty" to animal (esp. poultry) - or what is perceived as "cruelty" - may actually be totally normal.


I would also refrain from encouraging the user to post pics here etc.


Highly likely that if the employer finds out, he'll sue.
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Old 05.09.2018, 14:06
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

Is anyone really concerned about cruelty against poultry or about their own pocket? Considering how many complaints about the price of the Swiss meat on this forum only I've heard....so you'll sue them and they'll be closed. Then you'll eat cheap poultry produced in similar conditions if not worse from neighbouring countries. This is not to say don't do anything. By no means no, just be careful what you wish for....
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Old 05.09.2018, 14:07
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

I meant photos to the SAP as evidence.
I worked in a slaughter house when I was young - and saw lots of cruelty behind closed doors. Now in the uk, all is controlled. In Switzerland, it is still a family affair.
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Old 05.09.2018, 14:08
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

Quote:
I read everywhere that the employers are looking to reduce official working hours by stopping breaks from being seen as official working time and that they now are seen as official working time. So your husband works a total of 10.5 - 11.5hrs daily.

Reading your story I can only advice to go talk to the gemeinde or whomever it concerns instead of keep on going to end up with a burn-out.

He has to start logging working hours himself instantly and in a proper way, if he finds that the animals are treated in a way the law prohibits he should find/create proof of this since who knows what good such can do to him in future.



The company is probably a good tax-payer. Chances are, the person at the Gemeinde will just call-up the boss at said company and inform him swiftly about the conversation, so appropriate steps can be taken.
Or worse, you'll talk to a relative of the owners without knowing.


Sorry to be so cynical. But Switzerland is a very small country - it's easy to step on someone else's toes. And we're talking about some cow-village in SG, where everybody knows everybody else three generations up and down.
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Old 05.09.2018, 14:11
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

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Regarding the cruelty to the birds - a good starting point would be the group Swiss Animal Protection SAP www.animal-protection.net
If you want to go full blown commando then contact Kessler and the Verein gegen Tierfabriken https://www.vgt.ch

Quote:
I read everywhere that the employers are looking to reduce official working hours by stopping breaks from being seen as official working time and that they now are seen as official working time. So your husband works a total of 10.5 - 11.5hrs daily.
Breaks are not official working hours if you are allowed to leave the work place and do what ever you like to do.
https://www.ch.ch/de/wie-lang-darf-i...-pause-machen/
And also your post here: https://www.englishforum.ch/2907002-post60.html
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Old 05.09.2018, 14:17
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

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I read everywhere that the employers are looking to reduce official working hours by stopping breaks from being seen as official working time and that they now are seen as official working time. So your husband works a total of 10.5 - 11.5hrs daily.
Coffee breaks are, and have always been, working time.

Lunch breaks are not, nor have they ever been.

Tom
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Old 05.09.2018, 14:17
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

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Is anyone really concerned about cruelty against poultry or about their own pocket? Considering how many complaints about the price of the Swiss meat on this forum only I've heard....so you'll sue them and they'll be closed. Then you'll eat cheap poultry produced in similar conditions if not worse from neighbouring countries. This is not to say don't do anything. By no means no, just be careful what you wish for....
If I am going to pay top price for my meat, then I want it molly coddled to death.
Otherwise I buy the cheap crap in Germany - which is what I do.
You cannot have it both ways - there is no excuse in Switzerland for short cuts with the price they charge.
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Old 05.09.2018, 14:20
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

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If I am going to pay top price for my meat, then I want it molly coddled to death.
Otherwise I buy the cheap crap in Germany - which is what I do.
You cannot have it both ways - there is no excuse in Switzerland for short cuts with the price they charge.
German meat tastes terrible.

For good tasting (and usually cheap) meat, I buy in Italy.

(beef, veal, but for pork and chickens I buy Swiss)

Tom
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Old 05.09.2018, 14:23
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Re: Swiss company and unethical practices

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If you want to go full blown commando then contact Kessler and the Verein gegen Tierfabriken https://www.vgt.ch


Breaks are not official working hours if you are allowed to leave the work place and do what ever you like to do.
https://www.ch.ch/de/wie-lang-darf-i...-pause-machen/
And also your post here: https://www.englishforum.ch/2907002-post60.html
I am aware of the general rules, and the rules in some Industries, but not of the special rules when it comes to agri-culture.

Employees want to reduce official working hours by stop seeing the breaks as such, but if national law states that if one cannot leave the working space/area it has to be seen as working time, and else as a break. Than clearly I would expect the situation in privately owned Agri-culture to be that breaks are seen as working time as some sort of extra for the high amount of hours, despite being allowed to leave else the new proposals make absolutely no sense at all.
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