Spanish fashion group Inditex on Wednesday pledged to maintain workers' rights throughout its supply chains and the stability of payments to suppliers, as the garment industry wrestled with a plunge in orders during the COVID-19 crisis.
In a joint agreement with global workers' union IndustriALL, Inditex reiterated a commitment to ensuring health and safety standards were met and collective bargaining rights and workers' rights to unionize maintained throughout its supply chains. It has also committed to stable payment terms in a way that allows suppliers to honor payments to workers, it said.
The agreement builds on a partnership first signed in 2007 and last renewed in 2019, Inditex and IndustriALL said in a joint statement.
The pandemic and associated lockdowns have ripped a hole through the garment manufacturing sector, with many retailers canceling orders as they closed stores around the world, leading to the shuttering of thousands of factories and huge job losses.
In May, as stores closed across Europe and the United States in response to the coronavirus, Inditex said it had paid for all orders with suppliers, whether finished or in production.
Inditex and IndustriALL, which represents 50 million mining, energy, and manufacturing workers, said they would strengthen their commitments in order to minimize the impacts of the pandemic.