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Workers at Inditex's Zaragoza logistics hub to get 12% pay rise

The logo of Spanish fashion retail giant Inditex is pictured in Madrid, Spain

MADRID (Reuters) - Around 1,800 workers at one of Zara owner Inditex's main logistics centres in Spain will get a direct pay increase totalling 12% over the next three years plus additional compensation under a preliminary deal unions said they had reached with the company.

Inditex declined to comment on the preliminary deal reached on Wednesday.

The Zaragoza logistics hub, which handles Zara women's clothing, is an increasingly important part of Inditex's supply strategy as shipping companies are forced to find alternative routes to Europe avoiding the Red Sea, with Spanish ports a gateway for shipments via Africa's Cape of Good Hope.

Logistics workers at the hub had demanded improved benefits under the new agreement as Inditex, which reported a nearly 11% rise in profit earlier this month, increased their workload.

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"We're working at 100% capacity...the workload is increasing and that's on all shifts," Jose Antonio Villanueva, a leader at UGT, one of Spain's largest union groups and one of the four that agreed the increase that brings a warehouse worker's annual wage to about 34,400 euros ($37,296).

That includes an additional 4% raise to compensate for high inflation between 2021 and 2023 and a 20% increase in some extra shift bonuses, the unions said in a statement.

Inditex agreed early last year to raise average wages for its shop workers in Spain by 20%, and further increase them in line with inflation over the next three years.

CEO Oscar Garcia said last week that the company still planned to invest around 900 million euros per year until 2025 in the expansion of its European hubs, including a second Zara hub near Zaragoza.

Some union leaders said the logistics workers in Zaragoza are paid less than their counterparts at Inditex's headquarters in Arteixo, where around 1,300 workers recently protested about a reduction in their workload since December before reaching an agreement with the company to devote 75% of their duties to main tasks until 2030.

($1 = 0.9223 euro)

(Reporting by Corina Pons; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)