Just before the holidays, fashion giants H&M and Inditex announced that they would pay bonuses to their workers in Spain and Portugal - 500 euros in case of H&M to around 4,000 store employees and 1,000 euros by Inditex to its store employees in Spain. Due to mounting pressure by unions and impending strikes, Inditex agreed to a pay hike of 322 euros on Friday for its workers in A Coruna where the company is headquartered.
The companies are reacting to mounting pressure by employees and Spain’s biggest unions, UGT and CCOO, who demand higher pain in view of soaring consumer prices due to inflation. Workers of several industries went on strike in recent weeks, such as air transportation and retail.
After around 1,000 workers at Zara stores and other Inditex brands had gone on strike during the busy Black Friday sales week, further strikes on 23rd December and 7th January were announced but then called off.
Bonuses and pay hike from next year
While H&M will pay the full bonus next month to all its store employees in Spain who have been with the company at least since January 2022, those who have worked for at least six months will receive 250 euros.
Inditex was to pay its bonus in February, depending on the number of hours store employees work, but has since agreed to the pay hike from January 2023. Further increases by 20 euros in November 2023 and 40 euros in 2024 are planned.
While H&M announced job cuts despite its cost savings programme, rival Inditex' revenue for the first nine months of 2022 jumped by 19 percent, making Zara founder and Inditex co-founder Amancio Ortega the richest person in fashion and the third-wealthiest person in Europe.