Zara workers leave notes sewn into clothes

Ella Alexander
Photo credit: Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved

From Cosmopolitan UK

Zara labourers have reportedly been leaving secret notes in clothes, claiming that they are working without pay.

Associated Press reports that employees from an outsourced manufacturer for Zara have been going into stores in Turkey and leaving tags in the clothes, reading: "I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it."

The tags say that they were hired by Bravo, which closed overnight without paying the workers - who claim that they are owed three months of pay as well as severance allowance. The manufacturer also makes clothes for Next and Mango.

A spokesperson for Inditex - the company that owns Zara - told the Independent that it is working to set up a hardship fund for those left without pay.

"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."

A petition, launched in July 2016 to raise awareness of the labourers' situation, has been signed by 19,000 people. The workers say that the respective brands have so far only agreed to pay them a quarter of what they are owed.

"In other words, the brands accepted their liability, but they thought we deserve no more than their scraps," a statement on the website says. "We have all laboured 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 labour."

Zara has previously been sued over its reportedly poor working conditions and accused of both child and slave labour.

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