ALERT: Disney alert and letter (fwd)

Rick Coronado (riccawu@MNSi.Net)
Wed, 13 Nov 1996 10:58:02 -0500

I am forwarding this information which relates directly to the recently
released ILO report on Child Labour.

In Solidarity,

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>Date: Thu, 31 Oct 1996 06:59:19 -0400 (AST)
>From: Michael Gurstein <>
>Subject: ALERT: Disney alert and letter (fwd)
>X-To: futurework <>
>X-Listprocessor-Version: 7.1 -- ListProcessor by CREN
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Wed, 30 Oct 1996 16:22:47 -0500
>From: GOLEM <>
>Reply-To: "Hank Roth's Progressive List [& PNEWS CONFERENCES]"
>To: Multiple recipients of list PNEWS-L <PNEWS-L@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU>
>Subject: ALERT: Disney alert and letter
>[*********PNEWS CONFERENCES************]
>/* Written 6:35 AM Oct 25, 1996 by clr2 in igc:pn.alerts */
>/* ---------- "Disney alert and letter" ---------- */
> ALERT!!!
> DISNEY WEEK: Dec. 7-14
> ******************************************************
> This update on the National Labor Committee's Disney
> campaign has two action components: preparations for
> an international DISNEY WEEK of protests and a LETTER
> to Walt Disney CEO Michael Eisner (see below).
> Campaign for Labor Rights urges you to read this alert
> and to support this important campaign. This update
> also attempts to clarify the country-by-country issues
> of the Disney campaign.
> ******************************************************
>This alert was written and posted by Campaign for Labor Rights in
>support of the Disney campaign of the National Labor Committee.
>See contact information for each organization below.
>1) Geographic focus expanded: Originally, the campaign focused
>exclusively on Haitian factories producing clothing for the Walt
>Disney Company. The campaign now also focuses on Disney
>operations in Burma and Thailand. NLC has called for Disney to
>observe the international boycott of Burma and to stop producing
>children's clothing there. (See letter to Michael Eisner.) The
>call for Disney to withdraw from Burma is in contrast to NLC's
>call for Disney NOT to pull out of Haiti. In fact, an important
>reason for expanding the geographic focus of the campaign is to
>try to prevent Disney from withdrawing from Haiti to escape the
>heat of the campaign.
>In Thailand, a major Disney contractor, The Eden Group, fired
>1,145 of their own workers in order to take advantage of lower
>cost subcontractors, 10 of which were found to employ child
>labor. The NLC is not calling for Disney to pull out of
>Thailand. However, the fired Eden Group workers ARE calling for
>Disney to terminate their contract with Eden.
>This is very complicated. The NLC will have their work cut out
>for them in trying to project these issues in a way that is
>readily understandable to the person being leafleted on the
>street. In summary, the message to Disney is:
>Haiti: Stay and work with (sub)contractors to get them to clean
>up their act, especially with regard to paying a living wage.
>Burma: Pull out. Join the international boycott called by human
>rights activists within Burma.
>Thailand: Stop dealing with the Eden Group. Stay in Thailand
>and work with other (sub)contractors to get them to deal with
>their workers fairly.
>BUT WAIT!!! There is more: Disney also has been found to
>produce in illegal US sweatshops where child labor is an issue.
>Also, Disney has a bad reputation among some domestic unions
>because the company reportedly likes to bypass union labor in
>this country.
>2) Disney Week, December 7-14: The National Labor Committee is
>preparing for an international week of protests around Disney.
>Demonstrations are being planned in the US, Canada and Europe.
>For more information, contact NLC's grassroots outreach
>coordinator, Maggie Poe: (212) 242-3002. NLC already has a
>sample leaflet available. They are preparing an action packet
>for use by local committees planning protests before, during or
>after Disney Week. Also available: Mickey Mouse Goes to Haiti.
>This video on Disney's labor malpractices in Haiti is free.
>Even if you have sent previous letters to Disney CEO Michael
>Eisner, please also send this letter calling upon Disney to
>cancel their operations in Burma. Please copy this letter and
>send it to Campaign for Labor Rights, 1247 "E" Street SE,
>Washington, DC 20003. We will bundle the letters and forward
>them to Eisner, with a cover letter from Campaign for Labor
>Rights. Note: The text of this letter is based on a draft
>sample letter provided by the National Labor Committee.
>Michael Eisner, CEO
>Walt Disney Company
>500 South Buena Vista Street
>Burbank, CA 91522
>Dear Mr. Eisner:
>I want to bring to your attention Walt Disney's use of the Yangon
>factory in Burma to make "Mickey and Co." children's clothing. I
>am sure that you are aware of the Clinton Administration's
>condemnation of the violent military dictatorship in Burma,
>listing the country as one of the world's "outlaw" states. The
>United Nations also has denounced the military dictatorship in
>Burma for its use of forced labor, torture, disappearances,
>ethnic cleansing and summary executions of its people.
>Disney has a licensing agreement with Mamiye Brothers/American
>Character Classics, which in turn has contracted production of
>Mickey and Co. children's clothing to the Yangon plant in Burma.
>The Yangon plant is 45 percent owned by the ruthless military
>dictatorship that is repressing the people of Burma. In
>addition, the military government recently instituted a five
>percent tax on all exports.
>That means that 50 cents of every $1.00 earned producing the
>"Mickey and Co." label at the Yangon plant flows directly into
>the pockets of the Burmese military, which uses this money to
>purchase weapons from China which are then turned on the pro-
>democracy movement in order to terrorize the people.
>Disney should not be in Burma. It is a grave mistake to be
>abetting the ruthless military regime. National League for
>Democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi
>has consistently stated that companies investing in Burma "only
>serve to prolong the agony of my country by encouraging the
>present regime to persevere in its atrocities...We do not think
>now is the time for any foreign company to invest in Burma."
>I urge your company to immediately stop doing business with
>factories in Burma until democracy is restored and the massive
>human rights violations end.
>name signed
>name printed
>street address
>city, state/province, zip/postal code
>National Labor Committee: grassroots outreach coordinator Maggie
>Poe, phone: (212) 242-3002 fax: (212) 242-3821 NLC, 275 7th
>Avenue, New York, NY 10001.
>Campaign for Labor Rights: (541) 344-5410 1247
>"E" Street, Washington, DC 20003 web site:
>The third issue of the Campaign for Labor Rights newsletter will
>go into the mail on November 22. It will feature the newly
>energized and expanded Disney campaign of the National Labor