BERN / GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss Federal Council’s plans to end the special protected status for cabaret dancers could be scuppered by Swiss unions, or at least some of them, as disagreements surface about the likely effectiveness of the plan.
Dancers have been given a special status that effectively allows women from outside the European Union and EFTA to work in Switzerland without regular visas. The rules were created in the 1990s in an effort by the federal government to reduce prostitution and pimping linked to the workers’ jobs. The Federal Council said in June that the current system is not working and it intends to revise the rules.
Trade unions and political parties are now being asked to comment on the proposed changes, and disagreements are surfacing.
Association suisse des cafés-concerts, cabarets, dancings et discothèques (ASCO) and the USS, l’Union syndicale suisse have jointly launched a petition to keep the status, saying that ending it would play into the hands of the mafia and only encourage prostitution.
Travail.Suisse, however, says it sees no reason why dancers should be an exception, allowing unskilled workers to enter the country, while other parts of the economy must follow the rules and respect quotas, reports news agency ats.