Fifteen years ago, Spanish fashion company Inditex entered into an agreement with the global union federation IndustriAll to improve the working conditions of workers along its supply chain. According to the two partners, three million workers worldwide have benefited from their Global Framework Agreement (GFA) since.
To celebrate the milestone, the two parties signed a new protocol reaffirming their commitment to continue working for the well-being of workers. Specifically, it aims to promote social dialogue by strengthening the Global Union Committee and its coordinating bodies, and in particular by introducing new mechanisms to strengthen the role of local unions and achieve a better understanding of the needs of garment workers.
“Signing the GFA with Inditex was a breakthrough that has since lead the way for more responsible sourcing and proper industrial relations in the sector. It is fitting that we celebrate the first 15 years by signing a protocol that takes our relationship to a new level in terms of respect for fundamental trade union rights. The fact that we agree with Inditex to increase the role of our local and national unions and to firmly defend their right to organise and bargain collectively in the supply chains gives hope to many,” commented Atle Høie, IndustriAll’s general secretary, in a statement.
Inditex and IndustriAll renew commitment to workers
Inditex and IndustriAll also intend to establish a joint work plan under the new protocol that will focus on continued respect for freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, as well as the provision of training to workers' representatives, the textile company's suppliers and workers in the supply chain.
They are also working on a “Workplace Access Protocol” to highlight and monitor working conditions in Inditex supply chain factories in order to understand and respond to workers' needs.
“The protocol signed today, commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Framework Agreement between Inditex and IndustriALL, evidences our determination to strengthen respect for fundamental labour rights across our production chain and marks a fresh milestone in both organisations’ ongoing mission of improving the lives of the women and men who populate it,” said Inditex CEO Óscar García Maceiras.