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Desigual workers vote in favor of 6.5% pay cut in exchange for four-day workweek

Unions cast doubt on process and threaten legal action

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07 October 2021 08:33 PM

by

ACN|Barcelona

86% of fashion firm Desigual employees in Barcelona have voted in favor of a 6.5% pay cut in exchange for a four-day workweek.

According to the Catalan company, which organized the vote, 98% of the 500 workers who were entitled to participate voted to work fewer hours per week on Thursday.

This means employees will work from Monday to Thursday. They will be required to work from the office three of these days, while they will be allowed to work remotely the remaining day.

"For me at least, and I think for a lot of people here, this is the way of the future," says fashion designer Roser Loureiro. "This idea couldn't have come from any other company."

Unions' objections

Trade unions, however, have cast doubts the process was not done accordingly, and have threatened legal action. 

According to UGT, Desigual has gone ahead "without allowing collective bargaining" to take place and says the company hand-selected the employees who negotiated the workweek reduction conditions over 15 days. They also say that workloads actually increased significantly during the four-day workweek pilot period and complain that there was no external oversight during the vote on Thursday. 

CCOO too expressed skepticism and argued that unions should have had a seat at the negotiating table.  

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  • Desigual headquarters in Barcelona (by Albert Cadanet)

  • Desigual headquarters in Barcelona (by Albert Cadanet)

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