The AVR was founded on 19 January 1950 in the "Stadtcasino Basel". Since 70 years, the AVR has been a strong and well respected staff association for employees with individual contracts of employment (EAV).

The AVR had two forerunners: In 1944 the Roche Betriebsangestellten-Vereinigung (R.B.A.V., Roche Company Employees' Association) was established to safeguard the mutual interests of the company and its employees and to promote cultural interests through lectures and visits to industrial plants. The R.B.A.V. had emerged from the “Chemistry Group”, founded in 1918. The AVR was set up as a parallel organisation in 1950. Compared with the R.B.A.V., the newly established AVR directed its efforts more at achieving a greater say for employees and representing their interests. In 1962 the company decided to drop the category designation "Betriebsangestellte" (production employees) and from then on only used the term “Angestellte" (employees). The R.B.A.V. was subsequently merged into the AVR.

The employees had already scored some initial successes:

  • A call for a meat strike (1954)
  • Organisation of the first “Roche Evening” paid for by the company.
  • A 4th week of vacation for all employees (1981)

1960 saw the first pensioners' excursion. Although the company provided financial support, it could actually only be carried out thanks to help from the AVR and by using active members' cars. Pensioners' excursions are still to this day a highly popular fixture on the calendar.

The objectives of the AVR have remained basically unchanged over the decades. The AVR promotes sustainable employee policies and represents the economic and social interests of all employees who have an individual employment contract (including employees of affiliated companies) in dealings with management. It is the AVR’s declared goal to maintain a constructive social partnership, based on mutual respect.