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Spanish Unions Cry Foul as Inditex Shuts Stores

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Inditex staff in Spain say they are being forced out as the owner of fastfashion brand Zara rolls out its plan to shut up to 1,200 stores worldwide, despite a company agreement with Spanish unions to project jobs.

The worlds biggest clothes retailer is closing smaller outlets while expanding flagship stores and the Spanish closures are the first of up to 700 expected this year in Europe, as well as 100 in the Americas and 400 elsewhere in the world.

Under a December agreement, seen by Reuters, with two Spanish unions, Inditex aims to provide all affected staff with new vacancies matching their old contracts and seniority within 25 km 16 miles of where they used to work.

But unions and staff say its not going to plan.

In an internal report seen by Reuters, the UGT union analysed vacancies offered by Inditex and found 40 of the new positions were outside the province where the worker in question had worked, in some cases on the other side of the country.

The report said one in four workers offered new positions in Spain so far had quit.

If workers who used to work 40 hours are offered 12hour jobs, hours away, thats not preserving employment, said Cristina Estevez, UGTs retail representative.

UGT, the secondbiggest Spanish union within Inditex, signed the deal with the company along with the leading syndicate CCOO.

An Inditex spokesman said in an email to Reuters that it was complying with the union agreement and that relocations respected, all its principles,…

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