A black week of redundancies: H&M to lay off 232 employees in Catalonia

The Swedish fashion chain wants to close seven of its nineteen stores

2 min
An H&M store

BarcelonaThe fashion chain H&M wants to lay off 232 workers and close seven of the nineteen stores it has in Catalonia, according to the ARA. The Swedish group's announcement comes in addition to the Labour Force Adjustment Plan (ERE, in Spanish) of CaixaBank and BBVA this week, which together would affect almost 2,000 Catalan workers.

H&M management has met this Friday with the works council of the company to detail the initial conditions of the Adjustment Plan that will affect the entire workforce of the group in Spain. In total, 1,100 employees will be affected at Spanish level. Comisiones Obreras, the majority union in the committee, has described as "unacceptable" the proposal of the management, according to a statement issued Friday.

As for Catalonia, the 232 workplaces that the management wants to eliminate represent more than a quarter of the workforce, which is about 800 people. Most of the layoffs will occur in the seven establishments of the brand that management plans to close, of the nineteen that the group operates throughout Catalonia. Except for the stores on Carrer Major in Terrassa and Avinguda Sant Jordi in Reus, the rest of the establishments that will have to lower the shutter are in Barcelona: on the Rambla, in the Diagonal with Numancia, in the Diagonal Mar shopping centre and the two in Portal d'Àngel.

From Comisiones Obreras they insist that the negotiation has just begun and will try to reduce as much as possible the number of layoffs and closures, promote voluntary departures and insist on the training of workers. Faced with the proposal, however, the union is studying mobilizations in all the workplaces of the group for May 6.

Third mass lay-off in seven days

H&M's lay-offs are in addition to those presented this week by two of the main banks in Catalonia: CaixaBank and BBVA. The former announced on Tuesday a workforce reduction of 8,291 people throughout Spain, of which 752 in Catalonia, while the Basque bank wants to close 204 branches in Catalonia and lay off about 1,200 Catalan employees of the 3,800 it wants to lay off in Spain.

In addition, the German company Bosch agreed with the workers the closing of its plant in Lliçà d'Amunt, which will mean the loss of 336 workplaces.