Inditex’s digitalisation plan: job destruction and a worsening in working conditions

Feb 10, 2021
The first closures of shops carried out by the Inditex group within its digitalisation plan have been carried out, and as ELA warned, the consequences for the workers affected by the agreement reached with the trade unions CCOO and UGT on a state level are dire: job destruction and job insecurity regarding the working conditions.

In a first phase of vacancies, this is the situation:

  • Vacancies with the same working hours and permanent contract: transfer to Cadiz.
  • Vacancies with exclusive afternoon working hours, even for people with working hours for legal guardianship reasons.
  • Vacancies in the same province: with fewer hours per week.
  • Loss of incentives for positions of responsibility.
  • Incorporation for the first time of the “discontinuous permanent” workers in the trade: only working during periods of increased activity.

ELA has requested meetings with all the chains from the group in order to shield the staff’s working conditions. Additionally, the trade union has disputed the agreement and is waiting for the court hearings, planned for May, in the National High Court. The trade unions CIG and CGT also have taken out legal proceedings against this agreement.

In the summer of 2020, the Inditex group promoted a digitalisation plan, resulting in the closures of 114 shops up to the 30th of April, 2021. In addition to these, more closures would occur from the 1st of May until the 31st of September, 2022.

During the month of December, the companies from the INDITEX group (Zara, Stradivarius, Pull&Bear, Bershka, Oysho, Zara Home and Kiddy’s Class) set forth a procedure on a state-wide level to substantially modify the working conditions in order to carry out their digitalisation plan. In this process, they came to an agreement with the trade unions CC.OO and UGT, on a state-wide basis, regarding the conditions for the staff from the shops affected by the closures.

From the very beginning, ELA denounced bad faith in this process, as the total list of shops to be closed, personnel affected by the closures or the specific detail of the vacancies was not provided, in spite of it having been requested at the negotiating meetings, and even by the works councils. Additionally, the trade union has also denounced that this negotiation has been carried out on a state-wide level, without taking into account ELA’s territorial representation.

At all times, ELA warned that the agreement signed would jeopardise the staff’s working conditions. Jobs were not guaranteed in the same province, with the same working hours and category. In the trade union’s opinion, it was a covert Workforce Adjustment Plan.