Spanish conglomerate Inditex and the global union federation, IndustriALL marked 15 years of the signing of the Global Framework Agreement (GFA) on Tuesday, by committing to a new protocol that will contribute to improving the textile supply chain’s working conditions.
The GFA agreement which was first signed back in 2007 was renewed by Oscar García Maceiras, CEO of Inditex, and Atle Hoie, the global secretary of the Geneva-based global union.
What Does This Mean For Inditex?
This new protocol strengthens the Global Union Committee and its bodies and enforces the committee’s goal of empowering local unions and improving dialogue with workers to better understand their needs.
To do so Inditex and the global union must work on opening a social dialogue with the help of new mechanisms in place at the supply chain level.
Maceiras commented on the introduction of the new protocol, “The protocol signed today, commemorating the 15th anniversary of the framework agreement between Inditex and IndustriALL, evidences our determination to strengthen respect for fundamental labor rights across our supply chain and marks a fresh milestone in both IndustriALL and Inditex’s ongoing mission of improving the lives of the women and men who populate it.”
The new protocol has been designed and planned, by Inditex and IndustriALL collectively, with certain key elements AT the centre of its implementation:
- Work towards ensuring that respect towards the freedom of association is maintained.
- To uphold the right to collective bargaining and give workers the liberty to join unions.
- To provide the employees in the supply chain, like factory workers, their representatives, and the textile group’s suppliers with proper provision of training.
A new workplace access protocol is also being worked on by the two organisations which will target the lack of depth in terms of knowledge and monitoring of working conditions in the supply chain.
This will enable Inditex to improve its relationship with workers in factories and thus get a better understanding of their needs that need to be fulfilled.
Atle Hoie was quoted as saying, “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 supply chains gives hope to many.”
Félix Peinado, director at the International Labour Organisation in Spain, was also present at the time of the signing ceremony.
He supported the agreement in all its capacity and said, “Spanish trade unions Comisiones Obreras and UGT, together with Inditex, have been frontrunners in Spain with this agreement. I could not be prouder of this agreement or happier to celebrate its anniversary.”
He further added by calling the renewed agreement as the perfect example of how commitment, hard work, and willingness to work together can help improve working conditions across the globe.
Companies involved must work with workers’ representatives to achieve the best results from these efforts.
The Global Framework Agreement (GFA) in 2007 successfully resulted in almost three million people, globally, having benefited from improved working conditions.
IndustriAll calls it ‘a world first’ as it helped achieve a breakthrough for the industry.
It also led to massive growth in terms of sustainability and at the same time provided a genuine opportunity to improve the working conditions of millions of people who work in the Inditex factories worldwide.
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