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1998-12-06
Burma. Imports From Burma Continue to Rise.

In May of 1997, President Bill Clinton signed an executive order prohibiting US companies from making new investments in the politically repressive nation of Burma. What was the response to this prohibition in the retail industry? According to the National Labor Committee, many US chain stores raced to make new investments in Burma just weeks before the deadline began. In February of 1997, US companies won approval for more than $338 million in new investments -- more than had been approved in the previous 5 years combined! Garment workers in Burma are some of the lowest paid workers in the world. They earn the equivalent of 4 cents an hour, or $8 a month. Many of the garment companies are joint ventures with the military, and the armed forces are used to suppress any labor unrest by the textile workers. The American retailers who continue to invest in Burma include: Bradlees, JC Penny, Sears, and Marshalls. Apparel imports from Burma are up 43%. This year, US companies will import more than $110 million in sweatshop clothes from Burma.

What you can do: Before you put any clothing purchases on your credit card, check the label to see if the item was made in Burma. If it was, put the clothes back on the rack, and tell the store manager you are "not buying Burma". For further information about Burma and other sweatshop conditions around the world and in the US, contact the National Labor Committee at 212-242-3002.










 
 
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