Thursday , May 26 2022

Group initiative: Migros against Novartis – Switzerland: Standard


Dare to fight pictures of miners or cocoa farmers? This question has been driving the Swiss economy for many years. Because one thing is clear: If a corporate referendum comes to a corporate responsibility, it could be difficult for them. Surveys have shown that the population has great sympathy to the enterprise.

The initiative requires that Swiss-based companies have to respect human rights and comply with environmental standards when doing business abroad. If they or their subsidiaries do not do so, they should be accountable in Switzerland. Behind the initiative are the main Swiss relief organizations and other non-governmental organizations.

Notice for deposit

On Tuesday, after the National Council has now advised the State Council about whether it wants to counter-enterprise the initiative. The National Council said yes to last year's objection. In general, it is approving the main objectives of the initiative, but it also limits, among other things, the number of companies involved and the nature of the compensation that can be held liable for them. If the States Council adopts the National Council's anti-offer, the starters withdraw their initiative. If it weakens the counter or completely rejected it, it comes to a referendum.


In Switzerland responsible for human rights and environmental crime abroad: Are you in favor of the Group's initiative?

Many large business associations now do not want to know anything about objection. The umbrella body of Economiesuisse and Swissholdings, a large corporation society, has been against it for a long time. Meanwhile, among other things, science industries, the Association of chemical and pharmaceutical companies have joined this situation.

The association with prominent members such as Novartis, Roche or Nestlé warns against the debate in the Council of States before enterprise and offset. If yes to the enterprise, "amazing claims through self-release release organizations" against Swiss companies is possible. The offset, in turn, does not take advantage of the "critical concerns of the economy". Just two years ago, science industries had lobbied for objection. The president of the association is Switzerland's head of Novartis, Matthias Leuenberger.

«Such a vote will be difficult.»Patrick Marty, Head of IG Retail Trade

However, there is no consensus in the economy to the opposition. The most prominent advocate is the IG retail trade, in which Migros, Coop, Denner and Manor have joined. "IG stores want anti-offer to the group's enterprise," said headteacher Patrick Marty. The version passed by the National Council last summer is correct in its basics. It must be the goal to find a solution, behind the standing stallholders.

IG's retail trade wants to stop the initiative from coming to the people's side without objection, says Marty. "Such a vote is difficult." On the other hand, legal concerns are lawful. Companies also have overseas responsibility. «Our members have tackled such issues at an early stage.»

Large retailers are not only in this situation in the Swiss economy. For some time there was a separate committee for objection. Here too, business representatives are active. Among others, Jürg Bucher, former head of Swiss Post and today President of the Valiant Bank. (Tamedia Editors)

Created: 11.03.2019, 10:54 clock

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