Zara's US Employees Are Unionizing For The First Time

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Joining brands like Modell’s Sporting Goods, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Cole Haan, Zara retail workers in New York City have decided to unionize for the first time. Employees of the fashion retailer, the flagship brand of Spanish company Inditex, will be represented by the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU), reports BuzzFeed.

The Manhattan-based locations will be represented by the RWDSU Local 1102, and Inditex, which runs over 7,000 stores worldwide, agreed to recognize the union.

“This is a normal consequence of our commitment regarding the rights of freedom of association worldwide,” Inditex told BuzzFeed News.

RWDSU spokesperson Janna Pea told BuzzFeed that they “wish more American employers would follow this European model of Zara and H&M, which allows and respects the unions’ right to organize.”

These events were also met with satisfaction by the president of RWDSU, Stuart Appelbaum.

“We applaud Zara for recognizing the rights of its employees to choose to unionize, without interference,” he said in a statement. “Zara, the largest fast-fashion retailer in the world, is sending a strong message.”

This could be the first step towards unionization for Zara stores across the country. After all, as Applebaum put it, stores can remain “profitable and still recognize [their] workers’ right to dignity, justice, and respect on the job.”

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