Pablo Francesch

Inditex, in recognition of unionizing workers at its Zara stores in Manhattan, received the 2016 Human Rights Award from the Jewish Labor Committee, at a reception at the Roosevelt Hotel on the evening of Nov 14.

“Everyone at Zara has been and must be respectful regardless of workers’ background, culture, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation,” said Pablo Francesch, head of global employment and labor relations at Inditex, who accepted the award. Inditex, based in Arteixo, Spain, is the parent company of Zara.

“It is a true honor for Zara, for me personally, for my family, and all of our U.S. team to receive this award on human rights,” Francesch said. “I am especially proud to receive it from an organization that has continuously been fighting against the worst curse of the 20th century, Nazism, and which is still working now for real lasting peace between different cultures and religions.
However, sustainable global companies must continue this work, especially focusing on labor rights, decent work and salary, freedom of association, collective bargaining rights and diversity promotion, for achieving a world with real equal opportunities.”

After most Zara employees in Manhattan stores signed cards saying they wished to be represented by Local 1102 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, the company agreed to recognize the union and negotiate a contract. The agreement covers more than 1,000 Zara workers involved in a variety of tasks from greeting customers and stocking shelves to running fitting rooms and selling.