Zara workers in Manhattan will be represented by Local 1102 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, in an agreement covering about 1,000 workers at the fashion chain’s eight stores in Manhattan.
These are the first Zara workers in the U.S. to be unionized.
“Zara’s approach to recognize the right of its workers to form a union, without intimidation, is a message to all retailers — you can be successful and still respect the right of your employees,” said Gemma de Leon Lopresti, president of RWDSU Local 1102.
The agreement with Zara recalls the 2009 agreement RWDSU made with H&M, involving about 1,200 workers. As reported, the RWDSU recently reached a new four-year agreement with Macy’s, affecting 5,000 workers in the New York City.
The RWDSU represents retail workers at Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Duane Reade, Modell’s Sporting Goods, Saks Fifth Avenue, Cole Haan and other retailers in the New York area.
“Working in retail is extremely fast-paced and hectic,” said Joseph Minton, an associate at Zara on 59th Street. “I’m excited that the company is willing to listen to our concerns and work with the union for everyone’s benefit.”
Zara entered the U.S. in 1989 with a store in Manhattan.