• 30.04.2015
  • Space, Air, Land
  • Media release

RUAG increases working hours in selected units

RUAG is increasing working hours in selected units, predominantly those which are export-oriented. The international technology group is faced with a competitive disadvantage against foreign competitors owing to the strong Swiss franc. For 650 of the approximately 4,400 RUAG employees in Switzerland, this means 43 weekly working hours instead of 40 from 1 May 2015. The additional working hours will be enforced temporarily until the end of 2015. ...

The measure has been negotiated together with the employee representatives and applies to all salary bands, except for trainees and nursing and pregnant employees.

The Swiss National Bank's decision to remove its exchange rate floor against the euro at the start of the year has presented a challenge to several RUAG units. Export-oriented units and those which are exposed to foreign competition in particular have suffered a significant competitive disadvantage which the technology group is now countering with additional working hours.

Additional working hours are coming into force at RUAG Environment in Altdorf, which specializes in the recycling of electrical and household appliances (62 employees) as well as in certain units of the RUAG Defence division – specifically the Land Systems Business Unit (350 employees) and parts of the Business Unit for network-enabled operations command (120 employees). Furthermore, all employees in the Support Units of the Defence Division (125 employees) are working additional hours.  

It has not been possible so far to offset the competitive disadvantage with process optimizations, renegotiations or other measures. The price collapse on the global commodity markets has also had a negative impact on RUAG Environment. RUAG has thus held intensive negotiations with the employee representatives and has decided to introduce additional working hours, increasing the working time from 40 to 43 hours per week on a temporary basis at successive units. The increase in working hours is a temporary measure which will begin on 1 May 2015 and end on 31 December 2015. Aside from the new weekly working time, all other staff conditions such as holiday entitlement, salary and regulations remain unchanged.  

The planned additional working hours are based on Art. 57 para. 4 of the collective employment contract of the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Industry. This allows companies to use various measures to regain their competitiveness when this has been harmed by extraordinary situations such as major exchange rate fluctuations.