TWO THOUSAND employees in Almeria province’s clothing retail sector want one free Saturday each month.

Unions representing the shop assistants, the majority of them female, explained that there has been no new provincial collective agreement for a year.

Employers and unions have met on seven occasions but no agreement on renewing work conditions has been reached. 

The provincial business-owners association Asempal is willing to offer eight Saturday afternoons each year, but not a full day once a month.

“It’s very difficult to coordinate personal and private lives,” said UGT union official Toñi Payan.

Only 11 of Spain’s 50 provinces have agreed the 2023 conditions for their retail clothing sectors and there are no collective agreements with big chains like Inditex, Cortefiel, Mango or Primark.  As a result, wages vary throughout the country, and a Zara employee in Almeria province earns €200 a month less than her counterpart in La Coruña, where 300 Inditex employees are currently on strike.

Meanwhile, the unions are asking for a 4 per cent pay rise for the Almeria employees, while Asempal is offering 2.5 per cent.

“With inflation at 7 per cent, we are going to lose considerable purchasing power,” Payan said.

 

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