Zara is a Spanish clothing brand that has a long standing reputation for treating their workers like do-do, for terrible labor practices, and for stealing from other artists and designers, but they aren't the only brand facing these allegations.
Zara has recently found themselves in the news for a new reason this past week; employees are slipping handwritten notes into their clothes to let customers know that the people who made the items have not been paid for their work.
Shoppers picking up clothes from the brand's stores in Istanbul have been finding notes written by factory workers that have been sewn into the clothing itself. The tags read, “I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it.” The campaign is hoping to put pressure on Zara to pay their employees.
The workers were employed by a third-party manufacturer, Bravo Tekstil. The manufacture suddenly closed up shop last year, leaving many owed months worth of wages.
Nearly two months ago, Bravo Tekstil employees started a Change.org petition in order to recuperate the earnings they had lost after the company's owner had seemingly vanished overnight, leaving 155 workers with nothing to show for their untold hours of hard work. Of the 155 workers who had been screwed out of their earning, 140 of them actually signed the petition.
Here is the campaign's main message:
“We have all labored for Zara/Inditex, Next, and Mango for years. We made these brands’ products with our own hands, earning huge profits for them. We demand now that these brands give us the basic respect to compensate us for our labor. We demand no more than our basic rights! We call on the international community to support our struggle, sign and share to support our campaign!”
Inditex, Zara's parent company, released a statement regarding the unpaid workers. They will be starting a "hardship" fund for laborers affected by the sudden shutdown:
“This hardship fund would cover unpaid wages, notice indemnity, unused vacation, and severance payments of workers that were employed at the time of the sudden shutdown of their factory in July 2016. We are committed to finding a swift solution for all of those impacted.”
Workers at eight New York City Zara locations voted to unionize last year, but those in other parts of the world have not been so lucky.
How do you think Zara should react to this growing situation?