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by Free Burma Coalition
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2002 at 8:34 AM
Bloomingdales is a retailer of garments from Burma – a Southeast Asian country ruled by a brutal military dictatorship. But Bloomingdales should know better: the garment industry in Burma is closely tied to a modern form of slave labor.
NO Forced Labor!!
Garment companies in Burma are controlled completely by the dictators, whom have been criticized by the U.S. State Department, the United Nations, Amnesty International, and others for brutal violations of human rights -- killing, torture, a modern form of slave labor, and rape.
The money you spend in Bloomingdales on goods that are from Burma benefits Burma’s military dictators and means more suffering for the 50 million people living in the country. To make matters worse, worker rights are not enforced in Burma and health and safety standards are virtually nonexistent.
Write Bloomingdales directly using the company own web site:
Points to include in your email:
· You are aware that Bloomingdales’ Federated Department Stores does not source private-label product from manufacturers in Burma; but that their “Vendor/Supplier Code of Conduct” makes little difference as long as Federated continues to retail products from companies who not concerned about the conditions under which their products are produced.
· Federated’s policy does not address the manufacture of products in the countries with the worst labor standards of all: those where there is no rule of law, like Burma.
· Factories in Burma, including garment factories, are closely tied to “child” and “forced labor and unsafe working conditions” which Federated claims to oppose. Forced labor – including forced child labor – is used in the construction of Burma’s factories and infrastructure.
· Other companies have agreed to stop stocking products from Burma, including Wal-Mart, TJX, Ames Department Stores, IKEA, Williams Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, Costco, and Family Dollar.
· Since Federated carries products made in Burma from “a small number of manufacturers”, it should be easy for them to stop.
· Federated perpetuates forced labor in Burma by helping to create a demand for products made there, and Federated has the moral duty to stop.
· Until Federated does so, you will be BOYCOTTING THEIR STORES AND URGING OTHERS TO DO THE SAME!
Email Bloomingdales on their website at http://www.bloomingdales.com/contactus/index.html
Cc emails, and any responses you get from Federated to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the boycott of Federated Stores, www.freeburmacoalition.org or call 202-547-5985.
And here's a sample letter:
I am writing to protest the fact that Bloomingdales is selling apparel labeled "Made in Burma" or "Made in Myanmar."
Virtually all apparel factories in Burma are substantially owned by the Burmese military and are a valuable source of revenue for the Burmese army. Most responsible apparel companies have stopped sourcing apparel from Burma. Several retailers - including Ames and Wal-Mart - have taken the additional step of pledging to stop even stocking any apparel made in Burma.
I understand that Bloomingdales no longer directly sources any of its own brand apparel from Burma. I urge you to follow the lead of Ames and Wal-Mart and refuse to stock any merchandise made in Burma.
I would like to shop in Bloomingdales in the knowledge that you are not supporting Burma's military junta. Please write back and tell me when you decide to cease stocking any products made in Burma.
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