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Disney says it was out of Burma by (r)

Subject: Re: Disney says it was out of Burma by last June

On 6 Dec 1996 FreeBurma@xxxxxxx wrote:

> Subject: Disney says it was out of Burma by last June

Too bad the facts contradict them!

>       By Grant McCool 
>     NEW YORK (Reuter) - Mickey Mouse, who has delighted youngsters for
> decades, is now facing tough questions from children over alleged abuses of
> workers who make Disney clothes and toys. 
>     Although the Walt Disney Co. said the charges were either unsubstantiated
> or dated, a labor rights group was starting a week-long campaign Saturday to
> highlight Disney business in countries with questionable human rights
> records. 
>     The New York-based National Labor Committee (NLC) said it planned
> picketing, marches, leaflet distribution and protests at Disney stores in
> several major U.S. and Canadian cities until Dec. 14. The so-called ``Disney
> Week of International Action'' was scheduled for a time of year when the
> company's popular products are much in demand as gifts. 
>     The group also scheduled screenings of a documentary film it had
> commissioned called ``Mickey Mouse Goes to Haiti'' about the life of poor
> workers in the troubled Caribbean nation. 
>     Disney, in a written response Friday to questions about alleged abuses in
> Haiti and Burma and children's letters, said its policies were being followed
> in Haiti and the only subcontractor in Burma had stopped placing orders there
> last June. 

What evidence was provided for this statement?
So they placed two years of orders or what?  Why did August 15 Far eastern
Economic Review report find Disney garments being made in Burma at that
time?  Why are there racks of Burma made Disney garments on sale right now
at places like Macy's?  Why is Disney unwilling to say that they are not
making garments in Burma right now?  Perhaps because, contrary to the
suggestion in their statement, they are still in Burma.

>     An 11-year-old girl wrote Disney CEO Michael Eisner from her school in a
> middle-class Brooklyn neighborhood of New York City, after her class read an
> article in ``Time for Kids'' about child labor. 
>     ``Does your company really use child labor?'' she asked. ``I hope that
> the answer is no because if you do use child labor, you will lose a lot of
> customers -- including myself.'' 
>     The company said it was responding to such letters and provided an
> example of one sent to a child Nov. 27 by communications director Chuck
> Champlin. 
>     ``I want you to know that we would never permit children to work on
> Disney products,'' it said in part. ``All companies that make our products
> must sign a contract which says that they do not and will not use child
> labor. If any factory anywhere ever tried to allow it, we would stop it right
> away.'' 
>     On Nov. 26, the Burbank, Calif. entertainment giant, which has business
> interests in almost every country in the world, stood up to China and
> declared that it would go ahead with next year's release of ``Kundun'', a
> film about the early life of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader.
>     In an unusual warning, Beijing -- ever-sensitive about Tibet -- had told
> Disney that its ambitious business plans in China were at risk over the film,
> which is being made by renowned director Martin Scorcese. 
>     The Dalai Lama fled to India with many of his followers in 1959 after
> years of resisting China's control of the Himalayan region. Human rights
> advocates have for years condemned the communist government's policy toward
> Tibet as repressive. 
>     NLC executive director Charles Kernaghan alleged that wages as low as 30
> cents an hour for workers at a factory in Haiti making two-piece ``101
> Dalmatians'' garments forced them to live in hovels without water and made
> them virtual indentured servants because they were always in debt. 
>     ``Family values are left behind for films and movies but real family
> values that people should be paid a living wage so people can send their kids
> to school are left behind,'' he said in an interview. 
>     Disney said in reply that the median wage for workers who make
> Disney-licensed goods was ``well above the Haitian minimum wage''. 
>     Disney is known globally for its wholesome Mickey Mouse image and child
> and family-oriented theme parks. Its film ''Beauty and the Beast'' was the
> first animated movie ever to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best
> Picture. Disney's most successful film was 1994's ``The Lion King''. Its
> current hit, ''101 Dalmatians'' pulled in more than $45 million last week, a
> record for the Thanksgiving Day holiday period. 
>     Kernaghan had asked Disney to pull out of manufacturing goods in Burma,
> where the military government controls the economy and has suppressed the
> political opposition. 
>     Kernaghan testified to Congress earlier this year, bringing to attention
> the sweatshop conditions in which clothes carrying the name of TV personality
> Kathie Lee Gifford were manufactured by a Wal-Mart sub-contractor. 
>     In the ensuing controversy, Gifford joined the forces working toward
> improving conditions and wages and a White House panel was established to
> study the issue of labor abuses in factories making goods for U.S. companies.
>     Reuters/Variety 
> 20:00 12-06-96