Desk Report : Trade
union experts are being designated to reinforce workers’ rights in the supply chain of the world’s largest fashion retailer, Inditex, in an agreement signed with IndustriALL Global Union in Brussels on Monday.
The groundbreaking contract, which is unique in the garment sector, was signed by Inditex Chairman and CEO, Pablo Isla, and Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL.
The trade union experts are being brought in to better monitor and implement workers’ rights in a contract which extends IndustriALL Global Union’s Global Framework Agreement (GFA) with Inditex.The GFA covers more than a million workers in around 6,000 supplier factories making clothes for the company’s eight different brands, including Zara, Pull&Bear and Massimo Dutti, InsdustriAll said in a press release.
The GFA between IndustriALL and Inditex was signed in 2007 and renewed and strengthened in 2014. The GFA sets out to promote workers’ rights, freedom of association, and collective bargaining at its supplier factories.
The trade union experts will be employed in different regions (or clusters) to contribute to better enforcement of the GFA and effective implementation of labour rights throughout Inditex’s supply chain. The first Cluster Contract was also signed for Turkey.
The experts will also act to enforce Inditex’s Code of Conduct for Manufacturers and Suppliers as well as coordinate trade unions, together with Inditex Sustainability teams located in the different regions.
IndustriALL’s General Secretary, Jyrki Raina, said, “This agreement shows an unprecedented and genunine commitment from Inditex to improving the rights of garment workers in its supplier factories. The contract is a significant step forward in promoting workers’ rights in the Inditex supply chain, and will help to increase workers’ capacity to negotiate wages and working conditions with employers. Only by empowering workers and trade unions will we see real change in global garment industry.”
“This new initiative marks a huge milestone in improving the global garment production chain. It should be viewed against the backdrop of the core agreement reached with IndustriALL in 2007, which has proven the most effective way of accompanying and training garment suppliers worldwide,” said Inditex Chairman and CEO, Pablo Isla.
The signing took place at the High-level Conference on Responsible Management of the Supply Chain in the Garment Sector organized by the European Commission, where both Isla and Raina were key-note speakers.
IndustriALL Global Union represents 50 million workers in 140 countries in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors and is a force in global solidarity taking up the fight for better working conditions and trade union rights around the world. (SH)