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UNI Global Union’s trade union affiliate in Peru has negotiated the country’s first ever collective agreement in the fast-fashion sector in a breakthrough deal with Swedish retailer H&M.

The historic contract with Peruvian workers’ union, El Sindicato Unico de Trabajadores H&M Peru (SUTRA H&M), was signed in August. The agreement comes after a concerted organizing campaign at H&M in Peru supported by UNI Americas and Swedish affiliates, Unionen and Handels, as well as global engagement with H&M management.

Sergio Alejandro Ortega Cantero, General Secretary of SUTRA H&M said:

“The union has achieved a first collective bargaining agreement that marks a historic event for the fast fashion sector in Peru. We have won social and economic benefits that represent the feelings and needs of our members. We hope that the next negotiations can be resolved through direct dialogue with H&M.” 

He added: “I want to call on all H&M workers to join the union, and achieve even greater benefits together. This has been the work of all our members.”

Members will benefit from:

  • A 6 per cent incremental pay rise backdated to December 2019
  • Grants for therapies and rehabilitation costs for members with children aged three to 25 years old, or from the age of one year old if the child has a disability. Reimbursements can apply from 2020.
  • Financial aid in the event of the death of family members, including parents, children, spouse or partners to the amount of two-and-a-half-times the monthly minimum wage
  • A 70 per cent discount on six H&M garments a year
  • Ergonomic chairs at 50 per cent of check outs and also in break rooms
  • Up to four days leave in the event of a death of a family member.

Mathias Bolton, Head of UNI Commerce said:

“This agreement shows how a combination of our global framework agreement with H&M and solidarity support from our Swedish affiliates, plus active support from UNI Americas can open the door to good faith negotiations with companies in countries where it is traditionally more difficult to unionize. This is a significant victory for SUTRA H&M and sets the pattern for organizing at other fast-fashion retailers with potential for a positive ripple effect in Peru and the region.”

Worker activism and perseverance from SUTRA H&M, which kept momentum during the pandemic by engaging with workers on social media, ensured progress despite tough negotiations.

Marcio Monzane, Regional Secretary for UNI Americas, said:

“It is great news that the union has finally reached an agreement with the company. Unfortunately, the intervention of the headquarter unions, the ministry of labour and an arbitrator were needed in order to succeed. We hope that in the future labour relations between the company and the union will be normalized and negotiations can be resolved with direct dialogue.”






UNI Americas