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Just Say No To The Spread Of Forced Labour


Just Say No To The Spread Of Forced Labour

Stop the spread of forced labour! Boycott Mamee Double Decker Food products - Mamee noodles and Mister Potato Chips.

It has come attention Mamee Double Decker (manufacturer of Mamee Noodles and Mister Potato Crisps) has a subsidiary company (Myanmar Mamee-Double Decker Pty. Ltd) in Myanmar (Burma), where the military junta is actively using forced labour on the general population.

Mamee has been placed on a list of companies actively supporting the military's activities in Myanmar (Burma) by the International Council of Free Trade Unions, and the International Labour Organisation has investigated foreign companies trading in Myanmar (Burma).

We oppose the practices of the Myanmar military junta and are urging like-minded people to show their support by boycotting products of companies that actively support the regime.

In New Zealand and Australia Mamee Double Decker products can be found on your local supermarket shelves. Write the following stockists urging them not to support companies such as Mamee Double Decker using forced labour;

1. customerinfo@progressive.co.nz (write to Mr Ted van Arkel) 2. melissa@foodstuffsnz.co.nz (write to Ms. Melissa Hodd) 3. abardwell@woolworths.com.au (write to Ms. Amanda Bardwell) 4. customer.relations@coles.com.au (write to Mr Gerry Masters)

(INFORMATION FOUND IN PRESS RELEASE OF MILITARY JUNTA)

MYANMAR INFORMATION COMMITTEE, YANGON Information Sheet N0. A-0870(I) 10th April 1999 Instant Noodle Factory Opened A ceremony to open Instant Noodle Factory of Myanmar-Mamee Double Decker Ltd, jointly established by Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd and Mamee ouble Decker Ltd of Malaysia, was held at the factory in Pyinmabin Industrial Zone, Mingaladon Township, Yangon on 9 April. The joint-venture factory had been built under Build Operate-Transfer system on 17,011.13 sq-metre of plot in Pyinmabin Industry Zone, with a capital of US $15million and aiming at producing instant noodles and other food stuff.

(THIS LINK SHOWS THAT MAMEE IS ON A LIST OF COMPANIES DEALING WITH BURMA/MYANMAR)

http://www.global-unions.org/burma/company.asp?ID=169

(THIS LETTER EXPLAINS THE CONTEXT FOR PLACING MAMEE ON THE LIST)

Text of letter sent to companies in March 2003

Dear Madam, Sir

In November 2000, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the specialised agency of the United Nations for social matters, determined that no progress had been made in the process of ending the widespread use of forced labour in Burma (the country renamed Myanmar by its military junta).

This conclusion led to the decision by the ILO Governing Body to fully implement the ILO resolution on Burma adopted at the International Labour Conference in June 2000. The resolution, which had the overwhelming support of governments, employers and workers' organisations, and which aimed at ending forced labour in Burma as soon as possible, "recommends to the Organisation's constituents as a whole - governments, employers and workers - that they: (I) review, in the light of the conclusions of the Commission of Inquiry, the relations that they may have with [Burma] and take appropriate measures to ensure that [Burma] cannot take advantage of such relations to perpetuate or extend the system of forced or compulsory labour (...) and to contribute as far as possible to the implementation of its recommendations; and (ii) report back in due course and at appropriate intervals to the Governing Body".

Global Unions, including the ICFTU, the Global Union Federations and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC), has been campaigning for several years for the full respect of human and workers' rights in Burma. Full details of these organisations are attached. The information that we provided was instrumental in leading to the ILO decision. We have also provided the ILO with new evidence on forced labour in the years following the November 2000 decision. This evidence clearly indicates, in spite of some recent changes in the country, that forced labour persists on a large scale and that the authorities in Burma are still not genuinely committed to end the violation of the most fundamental rights of their citizens. This has largely been confirmed by the findings of different reports from different organisations. Based on the evidence available, the international trade union movement firmly believes that it is impossible to conduct any trade or other economic activity with Burma without providing direct support, mostly financial, to the military junta. The top military hierarchy is directly responsible for the massive use of forced labour. This has also been clearly established by the ILO Commission of Inquiry. Any commercial or economic links with Burma therefore help the junta "to perpetuate or extend the system of forced or compulsory labour".

We held a meeting in Tokyo, in March 2001, to develop a strategy for further trade union action on Burma. That meeting adopted a statement that, among other things, stated that "national and multinational companies trading with and/or investing in Burma should withdraw as a matter of urgency and bans on imports from and exports to Burma should be introduced immediately.

The union movement at every level must initiate early discussion with such companies. Failure of companies to comply will mean public exposure by the international trade union movement and the promotion of other action, as appropriate, including consumer pressure and boycotts."

We have found reliable information that your company either operates in Burma, has business relations with the country, has been in direct contact with the officials of the regime, or promotes or advertises tourism in that country. If this information is inaccurate, or if you have already decided to break those links, it would be helpful if you would let us know.

We are currently maintaining a list of over 300 companies that have the same status. This list can be found on our web-site: http://www.global-unions.org/burma/. Prior to adding your company to this list, we wanted to have the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with your company, as we have done with every other company of which we discovered a link to Burma. We would appreciate a response to this communication as soon as possible, in particular as relates to the nature and scope of your company's present or planned activities in or in connection with Burma, including any trade, export, import or investment links which your company may be engaged in or planning to have with private or public Burmese companies, enterprises, organisations or institutions.

We are, of course, in touch over these issues with our national affiliated organisations, many of which may have direct relations with your company at national level, and intend to make sure that they are fully informed of our communications with companies on this issue. We would very much appreciate it if you could respond to this communication by 1 May 2003.

Thank you for your consideration.

Guy Ryder - ICFTU General Secretary Philip Jennings - UNI General Secretary and Chair of the GUF General Conference John Evans - Secretary General - TUAC

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