Notes from Unpaid Laborers Found in Zara’s Clothing

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. come under fire / kʌm ˈʌn dər faɪər / (idiom) – to be criticized

    The company came under fire because of labor issues.

  2. bewildered / bɪˈwɪl dərd / (adj) – confused

    The bewildered staff did not know how to handle the strange customer.

  3. garment / ˈgɑr mənt / (n) – any type of clothing

    Their line of wedding garments was made by another company.

  4. shutdown / ˈʃʌtˌdaʊn / (n) – the act of closing down of a business

    The company had an immediate shutdown because of a financial crisis.

  5. contaminate / kənˈtæm əˌneɪt / (v) – to make something polluted

    The harmful chemicals from the factory contaminated the nearby lake.


Read the text below.

Clothing store Zara came under fire after its customers found notes written by factory workers inside its products.

Shoppers in Istanbul, Turkey were bewildered when they read the notes saying that Zara has not paid the workers for producing the garments. The notes were allegedly slipped into the clothes by workers employed by Bravo Tekstil, a local manufacturing company that made clothes for Zara. Since its sudden shutdown in July 2016, the workers have not received their three-month salary and separation pay because their employer ran away.

Meanwhile, Zara’s parent company, Inditex, said that it is already working to resolve the issue. The company is organizing a $246,000 hardship fund, a kind of financial support in case of a crisis, to cover the Turkish workers’ unpaid salary, unused vacation leaves, and separation pay. Furthermore, Inditex pledged to be stricter in supervising its manufacturing facilities to prevent such incidents from happening again.

This is not the only issue that Zara is currently facing. Recently, the brand was also suspected of buying materials from factories in Asia that produce harmful chemicals. According to the investigation, these factories create clothes out of environment-friendly materials, but their procedure is toxic to the surroundings. In fact, the factories have allegedly contaminated waters in lakes and rivers.

In China, many plants and animals died because of the toxic water. Meanwhile, in India, it is believed that the water caused an increased risk of birth defects and cancer in the community.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• How else can the workers catch Zara’s attention to get their deserved salary?
• How do you think this labor issue will affect Zara?

Discussion B

• How can companies recover from controversies?
• How can companies ensure a good relationship with its laborers and its consumers?