Zara union calls Black Friday strike in fashion group’s home town

A union group representing shop assistants at fashion retailer Zara has called a two-day strike over pay next week in the 44 stores in the company’s home town of A Coruna in northern Spain, a union leader said on Thursday.

The strike, called by regional union group CIG, will take place during the “Black Friday” sales on Nov. 24 and Nov. 25, CIG union leader and Zara retail assistant Carmiña Naveiro said.

CIG represents most of the 1,000 shop assistants who work for Zara in A Coruna.

Labour disputes over pay in the face of galloping inflation have been on the rise across Europe in the past few months.

The decision to strike followed a meeting between Zara owner Inditex (ITX.MC) and representatives of at least three trade unions earlier on Thursday.

The company had increased an initial pay offer during the negotiations, but it was deemed insufficient by CIG, Naveiro said after the meeting.

“We want a wage similar to that of Inditex workers at factories and logistics centres that are very close to here”.

Workers at the logistics centres earn about 2,000 euros a month.

Inditex proposed a 10% increase for next year plus smaller yearly increments until 2025, which in total would amount to an additional 200 euros ($207) in the shopworkers’ monthly salaries by then, the union said.

CIG, which is also planning protests near Inditex’s global headquarters in Arteixo, a few miles outside A Coruna, wants an increase of 500 euros a month by 2025.

Some of the other unions favoured continuing talks to reach a deal with the company.

“The workers want us to reach an agreement and we will evaluate this new offer, which seems better,” said Lucia Trenor from the national union CCOO.

Inditex, which opened its first Zara store in A Coruna in 1975, declined to comment on the pay dispute.

Zara shop assistants’ salaries range between 1,058 euros and 1,400 euros a month in A Coruña, the union leader said.

Inditex employs 165,000 people in 177 countries. About 86% of them work at the company’s 6,477 shops, and at least seven out of 10 employees are women, based on Inditex’s latest financial reports on its website.

($1 = 0.9664 euros)