Lorca’s tanning district doesn’t surrender. The Spanish city, located in the Murcia region of the country, has a long-standing tanning tradition and, regardless of the challenges caused by the economic/financial crisis and the outsourcing of operations, continues to be an important reference for the national and European chain. Union representative José Ibarra told verdad.es that in the Eighties, Lorca’s tanning district employed circa 1,800 people distributed over 50 companies. Things slowly changed over time, and today the number of employees working in the chain in Lorca is of 250, while there are only a dozen businesses left. In contrast, close-by territories such as Cataluña and Valencia have tanning operations that employ 1,000 and 550 people respectively. The ones that remained in Lorca were able to do so by focusing on quality, to the point that the tanneries left in Murcia’s city weigh 15% of the total 690 million-euro turnover that the segment generates in Spain, and have a 52% export quota on the total, managing to keep North-Africa’s product at bay. Meanwhile, companies and unions have underwritten a pre-agreement to renew the national collective contract that will bring a 2% increase to the yearly salaries of sector’s operators.