MUNICH — Wal-Mart store workers in Germany are set to go on strike today and Saturday to pressure the retailer to negotiate a union contract.
Germany’s services union, Ver.di, called the strike on behalf of the employees. The union said Wal-Mart has refused to negotiate and is pressuring Wal-Mart to release annual earnings figures for its German operations, but Wal-Mart is appealing a court ruling that requires the disclosure.
Wal-Mart has not performed well in Germany, and recently announced that a store in Wilhelmshaven and another in Ingolstadt will be closed. Workers at those stores are expected to walk out, but there have been wire reports that workers at as many as half of Wal-Mart’s 95 stores in Germany could be affected. The union declined to comment on how broad the strike will be. Workers in the north of Germany have been asked to go to Wilhelmshaven and those in southern Germany to Ingolstadt.
Aside from fearing further cuts, Ver.di wants Wal-Mart to join the German Employer’s Federation so employees would be covered by all aspects of the union’s salary negotiations with the German retail industry. Currently, Wal-Mart’s employees in Germany are paid according to union scale, a Ver.di spokeswoman said. However, as a non-member of the federation, Wal-Mart is not required to honor that or any other benefits negotiated by the union.
Wal-Mart is also not legally required to become a federation member, though most large German retail groups do belong. Federation members do come and go. The supermarket chain Rewe, for example, had dropped out of the federation, but recently rejoined.
Ver.di is represented on Wal-Mart’s Betriebsrat, or works committee, but is not included in salary negotiations with the American retail giant.
Wal-Mart officials in Germany and the U.S. were not available for comment.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast