Zara's response to criticism: "We don't grant interviews"

Uppdaterad 2024-04-23 | Publicerad 2024-04-18

Zara's Swedish management refuses to answer our questions.

The Spanish press department emails that the company does not grant interviews and that they do not have any spokesperson available.

Finally, they send an unsigned email response from "official sources for Zara".

During our investigation into the working conditions in Zara's stores, 200 Seconds repeatedly sought responsible managers.

In an initial phone call with the company's Nordic manager Eirik Steen, he declined to answer questions. Instead, he referred to a press department in Spain.

From there, the response came:

"Please note that we do not grant interviews, nor do we have a spokesperson available for a conversation."

 Eirik Steen, Zara's Nordic Manager.

"Zero-tolerance policy"

We are asked to submit our questions via email.

After a couple of days, the response comes from, as it is stated, "official sources for Zara."

Among other things, it states that the company has a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination and harassment, aiming for an inclusive work environment, and that Zara "places equality and respect for human rights at the core of our business." If employees have complaints, they are encouraged to address them directly to the company.

"Experts assist us"

In a second phone call with Nordic Manager Eirik Steen, he states that he "definitely" has responsibility here and that it is "definitely" not a company policy for managers not to speak out, but that the company has professional communication experts "to handle these tasks."

When asked if he cannot handle the communication himself, he responds:

”Yes, I definitely can, but I have experts who assist all of us in the company in managing communication with the press.”

Read Zara's official response below.

* This text has been translated with support of ChatGPT and reviewed by Aftonbladet.


Zara's answer:

Dear Mr. Aschberg,

Thank you for your inquiry. While we do not recognize the picture you paint of our company—based on the recent feedback we have received from our employees regarding the work environment and our daily interaction with their union representatives and safety delegates — the situations you describe are serious and deserve our full attention as they do not in any way reflect the company we are.

Please note that we can provide the following response, which you can attribute to official sources for ZARA:

At Inditex, we believe in the strength of diversity and inclusion as driving forces for a strong corporate culture. We aim to create opportunities for everyone and have implemented a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of discrimination or harassment. Our goal is to build diverse teams where all employees contribute their unique perspectives and experiences and can feel secure in an inclusive work environment.

As part of this effort, we work hard to provide our employees with a safe environment, free from all forms of racism or discrimination. This applies not only to our employees but also to our customers. Diversity is part of our identity, and therefore, we place equality, respect for human rights, and the fight against racism at the core of our business.

In our ZARA stores in Sweden, we currently have employees from 66 different nationalities, meaning that a significant proportion of our staff have an immigrant background. These individuals are a valuable part of our teams.

Furthermore, we want to clarify that the safety of our employees and customers is a priority for us, as is our collaboration with our employees and their elected representatives to ensure that this goal is achieved. While in the past, we have had issues with the accessibility of some of our emergency exits, we have worked closely with the Swedish Work Environment Authority and our local safety delegates, and the matter has now been resolved.

We encourage all current or former employees who may recognize their experience with us in your words to contact us directly or their local trade union so that together we can take the necessary steps to create a better, safer environment for everyone, and so that we can correct any errors that may have occurred regarding individual employees' compensation or other types of matters.

ANNONS

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