8 July, 2014Geneva, Switzerland: Inditex, the world’s largest fashion retailer, today reaffirmed its commitment to fundamental human and trade union rights across its supply chain in a renewed Global Framework Agreement (GFA) with IndustriALL Global Union.
In a ceremony with Gilbert Houngbo, Deputy Director-General for Field Operations & Partnerships at the International Labour Organization (ILO), IndustriALL’s general secretary Jyrki Raina met with Pablo Isla, Chairman and CEO of Inditex, to sign the renewed Agreement at the ILO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
A GFA serves to protect the interests of workers across the global operations of multinational companies, even those not directly working for the company, setting the best standards for trade union rights, health and safety, and environmental practices.
The GFA with Spanish-based Inditex covers its entire supply chain, involving a million garment workers in around 6,000 supplier factories making clothes for the company’s eight different brands, including Zara, Pull&Bear and Massimo Dutti.
Jyrki Raina stated:
“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. 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.”
Pablo Isla stated:
“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.”
Gilbert Houngbo said:
"The ILO welcomes the renewal of the Global Framework Agreement between IndustriALL Global Union and Inditex. This is a positive step towards improving workers' rights and working conditions in the garment industry. It is also a good example of how the strong commitment of workers and employers working together can be turned into action.”
Over the past seven years, the GFA with Inditex has operated as a direct line of communication between the workers and the company, helping to resolve disputes rapidly as well as promote freedom of association, unionization, and raise salaries.
As a direct result of the GFA, the concept of a living wage was introduced into Inditex’s Code of Conduct*.
The initial GFA with Inditex was the first to be signed by a global retailer and was made with IndustriALL’s predecessor the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation in 2007 before it merged with other federations to become IndustriALL Global Union.
Also present at the ILO ceremony were Isidor Boix Lluch, IndustriALL’s Coordinator of the GFA; and trade unionists Agustín Martín Martínez, General Secretary, CC.OO. de Industria, Spain; Antonio Deusa Pedrazo, General Secretary, FITAG-UGT, Spain; and Victor Garrido Sotomayor, from CC.OO de Industria, Spain.
*The GFA reads: “Wages should always be enough to meet at least the basic needs of workers and their families and any other which might be considered as reasonable additional needs.”
- 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.
- Spanish-based Inditex is the world’s largest fashion retailer with 6,390 stores in 88 countries.
- IndustriALL Global Union has over 40 GFAs with multinational companies including Renault, Bosch and EDF.
- Inditex’s Code of Conduct for External Manufacturers and Suppliers underpins the agreement which outlaws forced labour, child labour, discrimination and harsh and inhumane treatment throughout the Inditex supply chain. It provides for the payment of a living wage for a standard workweek, limitations on working hours, healthy and safe workplaces, regular employment and environmental awareness. The terms of the agreement will apply equally to direct suppliers, contractors and sub-contractors including homeworkers. No subcontracting will be allowed without the prior written consent of Inditex and suppliers allowed to subcontract will be responsible for subcontractor compliance.
For more information, please contact:
Leonie Guguen, Communications Officer, IndustriALL Global Union
Tel: 00 41 (0) 22 308 50 23