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2001-07-10
Burma. Wal-Mart & Kmart Buying Burmese Sweat?

According to the National Labor Committee, Wal-Mart has sworn off sweatshop goods with Burmese (Myanmar) labels. Here's the NLC Report: "Wal-Mart: Burma victory? After years of consumer and activist pressure, Wal-Mart has finally stated that they will not accept items made in Burma in their stores. Just months after Wal-Mart Canada told the Free Burma Coalition that they would "never" issue a statement against their suppliers that source from Burma, Wal-Mart was dropped from the prestigious Domini 400 index of socially-responsible companies due to its sourcing from Burma. 23 organizations including the Free Burma Coalition, as well as the Union of Needletrade and Industrial Textile Employees (UNITE), the United Auto Workers, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and Global Exchange wrote to Wal-Mart and other companies to demand that they cease sourcing from Burma. On May 23, Wal-Mart responded, stating, "Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. does not source products from Burma and we do not accept merchandise from our suppliers sourced in Burma," and further, that, "Wal-Mart Canada will also not accept any merchandise sourced from Burma moving forward." In light of this development, we need to ensure that Wal-Mart is not merely putting on a PR front, but that they are serious about ceasing sourcing from Burma. Wal-Mart is known for being the top seller of Jordache, which produces in Burma, as well as lesser-known companies like Cherry Stix and Stretch O Rama. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Go to your local Wal-Mart store and look for labels that say "Made in Myanmar" or "Made in Burma" The NLC also offers this comment about Kmart: "Kmart is offering a "Bluelight Special" on products of oppression. This retail giant has also gotten in on the ground floor for profiting off of Burmese sweat goods. Kmart refuses to answer correspondence regarding its policies on Burma, so the best way that we can investigate its sourcing from Burma is by in-store label-checks.

What you can do: To find out more about conducting in-store label checks, and what brands to look for, contact the National Labor Committee at nlc@nlc.org.










 
 
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