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Inditex Recommits to Compliance Across its Supply Chain

The world’s largest retailer, Inditex, parent company of Zara, reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring worker’s rights across its supply chain by renewing its Global Framework Agreement (GFA) with IndustriALL Global Union.

Inditex chairman and CEO Pablo Isla signed the renewed agreement Tuesday at a meeting with International Labour Organization (ILO) deputy director-general for field operations and partnerships Gilbert Houngbo and IndustriALL general secretary Jyrki Raina.

A GFA establishes top standards for trade union rights, health and safety, environmental practices and protects worker’s interests. Inditex initially signed the agreement in 2007 with the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation before it merged with other federations and became IndustriALL. The GFA with Inditex covers the Spanish-based company’s entire supply chain, including roughly 6,000 supplier factories making clothing for its eight brands, Zara, Zara Home, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius, Pull&Bear, Oysho and Utterque.

Isla said, “The collaboration between Inditex and IndustriALL has proven one of the most effective working tools in terms of identifying and prioritizing lines of initiative that deliver continual improvements in the supply chain. Moreover, signature of this agreement under the auspices of the ILO foreshadows a future of tireless dedication to enhancing living and working conditions in our sector.”

Since signing the initial agreement in 2007, the GFA with Inditex has helped maintain a direct line of communication between the company and its workers, and has helped to settle disputes quickly, promote freedom of association, unionization and raise wages, according to IndustriALL. Inditex introduced the notion of a living wage–meaning wages should be enough to satisfy the basic needs of workers and their families–into its Code of Conduct as a result of the GFA.

“The GFA with Inditex is a model of mature industrial relations with a multinational corporation. In promoting trade union values, the GFA empowers workers and improves lives, allowing even the most vulnerable people at the bottom of Inditex’s supply chain to be heard and protected,” Raina said. “Essentially, with the GFA, Inditex underlines that unions are good for business and necessary partners in creating a fair and sustainable supply chain. We look forward to continuing our successful relationship with Inditex well into the future.”

IndustriALL currently has more than 40 GFAs with multinational companies including Volkswagen and Bosch.