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Zara parent Inditex pledges support for suppliers during COVID-19 crisis

Lauretta Roberts
05 August 2020

Zara parent Inditex has signed a pledge to support suppliers, who have been hard hit by the global COVID-19 crisis, promising to maintain workers' rights throughout its supply chains and the stability of payments.

The Spanish giant, which also owns Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius and Pull&Bear, signed a joint agreement with the IndustriALL Global Union, which represents 55 million industrial workers.

This latest agreement deepens Inditex’s longstanding commitment to "freedom of association and collective bargaining rights and social dialogue".

Additionally, the agreement enhances Inditex’s commitment to stable payment terms and to broader access to financing for suppliers in order to support their cash flow. This enables them to honour payments to workers so that jobs and incomes are protected.

Inditex has a longstanding partnership with IndustriALL, which began with a global framework agreement signed in 2007 and which was renewed in 2019.

The agreement pledges to respect freedom of association and collective bargaining rights, giving workers the right to join a union to advance their interests. It promotes social dialogue at all levels, and commits both organizations to working with governments and business organizations in source countries.

Inditex has also committed to other multi-stakeholder initiatives, including the International Labour Organisation's Call to Action in the Global Garment Industry and the ACT (Action Collaboration Transformation) initiative.

Inditex Executive Chairman Pablo Isla said: “Our priority through this crisis has been and continues to be the health and safety of our people, the workers in our supply chain and our customers.

“Our longstanding and fruitful work with IndustriALL for over 13 years makes our framework agreement a strong tool to keep working to protect and promote workers’ rights and wellbeing, while supporting the global garment industry during these unprecedented times.”

IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary Valter Sanches added: “The COVID-19 pandemic caused a crisis in the textile and garment industry that led unions to experience mass job losses, unsafe working conditions and attacks on workers’ rights. Many of our members saw their livelihoods collapse entirely.

“The manufacturing suppliers need stability and predictability so that employment and income can be preserved. That’s what this commitment entails. We are working together to help the industry to develop the resilience to recover from the crisis, saving jobs and preserving the rights and income of workers.”

Inditex is one of the world's largest fashion retailers, with eight brands (Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterqüe) selling in 202 markets through its online platform and over 7,000 stores in 96 markets.

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