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El Corte Inglés slammed in pay equality dispute

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El Corte Inglés slammed in pay equality dispute
Unions say that women at Spanish retail giant El Corte Inglés get the thin end of the pay wedge. Photo: Hannu Makarainen/Flickr
11:55 CEST+02:00
Spain's largest department store chain El Corte Inglés has been given just three months by the country's National High Court to balance out salaries between its male and female employees. At least 25,000 female employees at the company are believed to get slimmer wage packets than their male counterparts.

In the latest court ruling, the High Court judge said the department store chain had failed to meet all the legal obligations laid out in its recently issued Work Equality Plan.

The decision comes in the wake of complaints by Spain’s biggest trade unions — the UGT and CCOO — that the company was still falling short on the issue of equal pay.

El Corte Inglés, the biggest department store in Europe and the fourth largest worldwide, has a "mainly female workforce" according to inside sources.

However, at least 25,000 women, mainly those who have been working at El Corte Inglés for more than ten years, receive a lower income than their male work colleagues.

That’s according to Rafael Peinado, the CCOO member who has been pushing for El Corte Inglés to be held liable for not meeting the targets of the National High Court’s ruling.

Peinado told Spanish national daily El País that El Corte Inglés had not revised the income category for all its female employees as agreed in the work equality decree.

Other breaches being questioned are women’s obligation to wear the correct uniform at all times — a requirement that doesn't apply to male members of staff.

El Corte Inglés has now been given three months to revise its female workers’ wages to ensure they are equal to those of male employees.

The firm has also been handed  six months to make sure both sexes wear the official company uniform at all times.

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