Women's strikes in Switzerland: from one 14 June to another
It is 14 June 2019, and a purple wave is sweeping the streets of Switzerland's largest cities. In fact, it's the second time that Swiss streets have been bathed in purple, the colour of the women’s movement. The first time was 28 years ago, in 1991. A vast number of Swiss women are demonstrating for their rights, specifically – equality. Strikes are relatively rare in Switzerland, as the right to strike is subject to precise conditions listed under Article 28 of Switzerland's constitution. Before it comes to a strike, labour conflicts are often resolved through mediation between the unions and employers. Why are women's strikes an exception in the history of Swiss labour disputes? We look back at two historic days of mobilisation in a country seen as a model of social harmony.