(Bloomberg) -- Inditex SA, the Spanish owner of the Zara clothing chain, is facing two days of strikes in its home market after unions and management failed to reach an agreement on pay.
Stoppages shut as many as 11 shops in the northwestern province of A Coruña, in Galicia, on Thursday as workers walked off their jobs to demand a €440 ($458) monthly pay increase, two union representatives said by phone.
The strikes have affected the Bershka, Stradivarius, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti and Oysho brands as they kick off Black Friday sales, some of the most important days for retailers. The Confederacion Intersindical Galega union expects the strikes to shut most of 44 shops across Inditex’s brands Friday, including a five-floor flagship Zara store in the center of A Coruña city.
The movement shows increasing demands from workers in Spain for pay increases in the face of soaring prices. Inditex has been able to pass on costs to shoppers and posted its biggest profit margins in seven years in spite of the cost-of-living crisis.
Inditex held a meeting with trade unions last week, in which the company reiterated its proposal to raise monthly salaries by €182, according to CIG union representative Carmiña Naveiro.
After talks collapsed, the retailer signed a deal with two national unions, UGT and CCOO, offering a one-time bonus of as much as €1,000 per worker to shops that meet sales targets.
CIG, and UGT’s local members decided to carry on with the strikes despite the sweetener. A CCOO representative called the strikes irresponsible as the deal agreed to in Madrid absorbs the impact of CPI and improves wages.
An Inditex spokesperson declined to comment.
Inditex manages operations from its headquarters in Arteixo, some 13 kilometers (8 miles) away from A Coruña. The bulk of its products flow through Spain before being distributed to some 7,000 stores globally. Spain is Inditex’s largest market by number of stores.
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