Zara Workers in US Unionize for First Time
Store workers at Zara, the flagship brand of Inditex, the world’s largest fashion retailer, have voted to form a union in New York City. The Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) will represent the more than 1,000 Zara employees, who greet customers, stock shelves, run fitting rooms and handle sales at the brand’s Manhattan-based stores. The union also represents workers at department stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, as well as supermarkets, drug stores and car washes.
Total Retail's Take: This move by the employees at Zara's stores in Manhattan could pave the way for unionization at the retailer's other stores across the country. Yet it remains to be seen what the Zara employees will gain from unionization, particularly in a state that has already approved legislation for $15 minimum wage. Perhaps improved workplace benefits — medical, dental, paid leave — will be the rallying cry for Zara's unionized workforce in New York City.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.