Inditex and IndustriALL Global Union agree to create a Global Union Committee

  • Inditex Executive Chairman, Pablo Isla, and the general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, Valter Sanches, signed their names today, at the ILO's head offices in Geneva (Switzerland), to the agreement extending the Global Framework Agreement entered into between the two organisations back in 2007.
  • For this next phase, the parties have agreed to set up a Global Union Committee, on which worker representatives from each of the Inditex Group's key areas of production will sit, with the aim of sharing and fostering best practices across the industry.
  • Inditex is the first fashion retailer in the world to set up a body of this kind. The committee will be populated by union representatives from Inditex's six main production clusters and representatives from the leading Spanish trade unions, Comisiones Obreras and UGT.
  • Inditex and the local and international unions have thus committed to continuing to reinforce the company's supply chain workers' labour rights, with a focus on the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.
  • Inditex and IndustriALL, which represents over 50 million workers affiliated with nearly 600 unions around the world, have been working together to promote and protect human rights since they entered into this pioneering collaboration agreement.

Inditex Executive Chairman, Pablo Isla, and the general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, Valter Sanches, today renewed the Global Framework Agreement, which dates to 2007, at the International Labour Organisation's head offices in Geneva (Switzerland). The signing ceremony was attended by the ILO's Deputy Director-General for Field Operations & Partnerships, Moussa Oumarou.

By renewing their agreement, Inditex and IndustriALL Global Union will continue to respect and foster labour rights in the clothing, textile and footwear industry in general and in the company's supply global chain, in particular. In line with the ILO conventions and the fundamental labour rights, the two organisations will continue to work together to promote full compliance with international labour regulations and Inditex's Code of Code of Conduct for Manufacturers and Suppliers.

In addition, the two entities have agreed to set up a Global Union Committee to foster the exchange of best practices in promoting the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, as the basis for strengthening working conditions for clothing, textile and footwear industry workers. The committee will be made up of union representatives from Inditex's six main production clusters and representatives from the leading Spanish trade unions, Comisiones Obreras and UGT. Its nine members will hail from the following regions:  one member representing the African production cluster; another representing production in the Americas; four members representing the Asian clusters; two representing the western European clusters; and the last representing eastern European production.

Thanks to creation of the Global Union Committee, the local union representatives will get to participate more directly in how the Global Framework Agreement is applied to their respective clusters and have the chance to receive advice from union experts, as was stipulated in the expansion of the agreement agreed in 2016.

“An additional driving force for production chain transformation”

According to Pablo Isla, “this new milestone represents another boost to our total commitment to people and sustainability, an effort we know is capable of having a tremendously transformational knock-on effect on the overall garment industry”. He added that the agreement also “reinforces our firm conviction that the joint work of the various garment industry stakeholders is key to spreading best social and environmental practices throughout the value chain”.

For Valter Sanches, general secretary of IndustriALL, “this agreement improves the preconditions for real change in working conditions, as an instrument for empowering our affiliated unions, providing them with a new tool to gain bargaining power”. 

Indeed, one of the key aspects of the agreement is the establishment of joint training policies and programmes that involve the workers at factories and suppliers that Inditex works with in order to make progress on the promotion of management-employee dialogue and workplace equality, among other aspects.