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Inditex Looks to Organize Factory Workers to Improve Labor Rights

Inditex doesn’t want its workers without fair rights, so the Spanish parent company of Zara is working with IndustriAll Global Union to create a national trade union network.

The retail leader met with IndustriAll and factory-level union leaders from Vietnam’s southern provinces in Ho Chi Mihn City this week to discuss how to implement a global framework agreement (GFA) and make sure all Inditex suppliers and subcontractors abide by international labor standards.

With the GFA in place, it would provide for greater solidarity in the supply chain and allow for an exchange of information among factory level union leaders.

During the meeting the union leaders, who also work in Inditex factories talked about a host of issues they face: long working hours, widespread use of precarious work, low wages, a hot, dusty and noisy work environment, violation of workers’ rights, a lack of real collective bargaining and a reluctance from employers to pay full-time shop stewards to allow time for the unions to work on building better labor relations.

As part of IndustriAll’s union building project and in cooperation with the Vietnamese Trade Union Center (VGCL) and Vietnamese garment union, shop stewards who work at Inditex supplier factories are getting collective bargaining training. The focus will also be on educating Inditex suppliers on global standards like the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Core Conventions and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines.

“This is about defending labor rights in the global supply chain and organizing workers in factories producing for the big brands,” said Isidor Boix, IndustriAll’s coordinator for implanting the GFA with Inditex.