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Spain’s Largest Unions Plan Strike Against Inditex

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A strike is ahead for Spain-based Inditex.

Spain’s two largest unions, Comisiones Obras (CCOO) and Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT) have called for retail associates employed by Inditex to gather in front of Zara and Bershka stores on March 22 at noon.

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The action will happen in eight of the country’s major cities, including Madrid, Barcelona and Seville.

The strikers, who, according to Reuters, will gather in front of the stores outside of their normal hours and will not cause store closures, have made demands that Zara allot increased hours to part-time store associates and that those employees have the ability to take off a certain number of weekends each year. UGT has also proposed that Inditex employees receive seniority bonuses after they have worked with the company for four years.

The new demands come on the heels of Inditex reporting high profits for fiscal year 2023. The company stated it had seen a 23.5 percent increase in net income in 2023 and boasted that, for 2024, performance is off to a rosy start.

On Wednesday, Inditex stock hit a lifetime high.

Inditex data shows its employees in Spain saw a wage increase of roughly 20 percent. It also agreed to give its workers in Spain a pay raise averaging 3.5 percent in 2024, according to Reuters.

Alvaro Cajigal, leader of the UGT union, said the company’s well being is encouraging but advocated for that wealth to be shared with the employees that make it possible.

“We are happy with Inditex’s results, but having seen them, they can’t make excuses to the workers and need to discuss more benefits,” the union boss said in a statement.

Workers’ rights could become increasingly important for the 3DLook partner in the coming years, as it continues to expand its real estate in Europe and other geographic regions.

For instance, the company reported Zara had opened 192 new stores, some in first-time markets, like Cambodia.

Workers’ interests could become a point of discussion not just in retail locations but also in distribution centers. The company announced last week it would build a new Zara distribution center in Zaragoza, Spain, as well as two Valencia facilities—one for Bershka, and a second for its footwear manufacturer. The logistics spending will cost Inditex nearly $2 billion over the next two years.

Inditex did not return Sourcing Journal’s request for comment.

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