×
263
Fashion Jobs
KANARY STAFFING
Hiring Area Sales Manager (Pharma) For Leading Pharma Company
Permanent · Pune
LAVYA ASSOCIATES HR SERVICES
Regional Manager - Corporate Sales | Life Insurance - Ahmedabad
Permanent · Chennai
INDUSIND BANK
Hiring - Area Collection Manager - Bangalore
Permanent · Bengaluru
MANBA FINANCE
Area Sales Manager - Mumbai (Two Wheeler Loans)
Permanent · Navi Mumbai
CIEL HR
Manufacturing / Production Manager (From Nickel Plating Plant Only)
Permanent · Ahmedabad
CREATIVE HR SERVICE
Production Manager
Permanent · Vapi
PEOPLE FIRST CONSULTANTS
Area Sales Manager - Medical Devices, Bangalore
Permanent · Bengaluru
TALIFIC CONSULTING SERVICES
Area Sales Manager - Project Sales
Permanent · Prayagraj
THE BANYAN HR CONSULTS
Training Manager For a Garments CO For Chennai / Bangalore / Hyd
Permanent · Chennai
AJAY INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION (AICL)
Production Manager (hp Division)
Permanent · Ghaziabad
VRB CONSUMER PRODUCTS
Job Opening as Asst Manager Production - Keshwana
Permanent · Keshwana
POLYCAB INDIA LTD
Area Sales Manager
Permanent · Ludhiana
CEAT
am Production Tbr Stock (Halol- Gujarat)
Permanent · Halol
FIRST MERIDIAN BUSINESS SERVICES
Head Production Manager
Permanent · Gurugram
SHALIMAR INCENSE
Senior Area Sales Manager/Regional Sales Manager- South
Permanent · Bengaluru
FIRST MERIDIAN BUSINESS SERVICES
Production Manager (Female)
Permanent · Oragadam
POLICYBOSS
Area Sales Manager
Permanent · Chennai
RADON INDIA
Area Sales Manager - (Dealer Channel)
Permanent · Jaipur
PEOPLEFY INFOSOLUTIONS
Job Opening For Area Sales Manager Role in Mnc For Vijayawada
Permanent · Vijayawada
STANVAC CHEMICALS
Area Sales Manager
Permanent · Beawar
PERFECT PUBLISHING SOLUTIONS
Area Sale Manager-Denmark Mnc - Hearing Aid or Medical Device
Permanent · Kolhapur
SMART SOURCE
Buyer & Merchandiser With a Top Brand-Mumbai
Permanent · Mumbai
By
AFP
Published
Mar 31, 2014
Reading time
3 minutes
Share
Download
Download the article
Print
Click here to print
Text size
aA+ aA-

Swiss immigration vote ticks off watchmakers

By
AFP
Published
Mar 31, 2014

BASEL, Switzerland - Switzerland's recent vote to curtail immigration from the European Union could seriously impact the Alpine country's booming watch trade, industry insiders warned this week.

Tag Heuer watch | Source: REUTERS


Nearly half of all employees in the sector are foreign nationals who either reside in Switzerland or commute across its borders to work, according to the Swiss Watch Industry Federation.

"We need this labour and these skills, and it is true that there is some concern around this vote," head of the federation, Jean-Daniel Pasche, told AFP this past week at Baselworld, the world's largest watch and jewellery fair.

Last month, 50.3 percent of Swiss voters decided to void a pact giving equal footing to European Union citizens in the Swiss labour market.

It remains unclear how Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU but counts the bloc as its main trading partner, will implement the decision.

Swiss business and financial sector have been busy lobbying lawmakers to consider a broad interpretation when putting the initiative into law, insisting on the need to bring foreign workers into the wealthy Alpine country, which last month registered an unemployment rate of just 3.5 percent.

Switzerland's iconic watch industry could be especially hard-hit, since it was struggling even before the vote to bring in enough workers to help sustain the soaring growth it has experienced in recent years.

Swatch Group, the world's leading producer of timepieces, for instance boosted its workforce in Switzerland by some 900 people last year alone.

Certified watchmakers, micro technicians, stone-setters and guillocheurs, who engrave intricate decorations onto the dials: the watchmaking craft requires a broad range of very specific skills, and it is no easy task to fill positions in the industry.

- Not enough qualified people -

"We can't work without the 'border-crossers'," insisted Marc Hayek, head of Swiss Group's luxury brands Breguet, Blancpain and Jacquet Droz.

"I look everywhere, but even before the new limitations, we couldn't find enough qualified people," he told AFP.

The issue of recruitment is an even bigger issue for many other watchmakers.

They have been forced to invest heavily in production since Swatch Group, which is also the world's biggest maker of watch components, reached a deal with Swiss competition authorities allowing it to progressively reduce its deliveries to competitors.

Tag Heuer, the top watch brand in French luxury group LVMH's stable, has thus recently opened a new component factory in Chevenez, just six kilometres from the border with France.

The limitations imposed by the Swiss vote will not force the brand to pare back its plans, insisted Tag Heuer chief Stephane Linder, insisting the company would continue to recruit on both sides of the border.

"It will just mean more red tape," he told AFP, pointing out that once the decision becomes law, companies will need to prove they could not find qualified Swiss workers to fill a post given to a foreigner.

Many industry insiders gathered at Baselworld meanwhile said they expected Bern to find an "intelligent" way of implementing the new rules so it did not cause too much pain for one of the country's key industries.

"Mass immigration or not, the government will have to accept that companies develop and that they need a workforce," said Jean-Claude Biver, who heads niche watch brand Hublot, which also belongs to LVMH.

Patek Philippe chief Thierry Stern also said he was convinced lawmakers would show the necessary flexibility.

"If we can no longer hire cross-border workers, the companies may as well lock up shop," he said, stressing: "I'm not worried, because they will be forced to find solutions."

Copyright © 2023 AFP. All rights reserved. All information displayed in this section (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the contents of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presses.