The initiators of the Responsible Business Initiative are pleased about the majority of the popular vote of 50.7%, but disappointed that the majority of the cantons could not be obtained. Today, the corporate lobby has prevailed, unfortunately also thanks to false allegations.
The large corporations have succeeded in portraying SMEs as particularly affected by the initiative, even though they would be exempt. The Federal Councillor, against her better judgment, has spread the misleading claim of a reversal of the burden of proof. And committees of the PR agency FurrerHugi have not only advertised with a fake fact check on the Tamedia portals, but also stoked fears of American-style waves of lawsuits – even though the procedural hurdles in Switzerland are very high. All in all, the confusion tactics of the corporate lobby unfortunately worked.
Thanks to tens of thousands of volunteers
The initiators’ thanks go to the tens of thousands of volunteers who fought for the cause and were thus able to convince a majority of the voting population. There has probably been no vote in recent times for which so many people have campaigned.
Despite today’s disappointment, the corporate lobby cannot turn back the clock. Today, no one disputes that companies must adhere to human rights and environmental standards abroad. During the last months, all major corporations have claimed that they respect human rights and environmental standards. The corporations will have to be measured against this claim.
Demands of the Responsible Business Initiative will be implemented
For the majority of Swiss people, it is clear that profit must not be made at the expense of people or the environment. That is why the majority of the population voted yes. This is also in line with an international trend: more and more countries are passing laws on corporate responsibility. The initiators of the initiative are convinced that in a few years, the demands of the Responsible Business Initiative will also become reality in Switzerland. All organizations of the Swiss Coalition for Corporate Justice will continue to do their utmost to achieve this objective.