About 65 percent of the electorate rejected the measure, which would have limited executive pay to no more than 12 times the salaries of their companies' lowest-paid worker.
The 1:12 Initiative for Fair Pay was named for the contention that no executive should make more in one month than another employee makes in an entire year.
The Wall Street Journal said the outcome of Sunday's voting was not a surprise. The proposal was opposed by Swiss business associations as well as parliament and leaders of the national government.
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