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ncgub message to unions conference

 815 Fifteenth, NW, Suite 910, Washington, DC 20005
Tel: (202) 393 7342  (202) 393 4312,  Fax: (202) 393 7343

October 6, 1995

The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) was 
formed with representatives elected from the National League for 
Democracy (NLD) and NLD affiliated parties during the free and fair 
elections of 1990. The military-run State Law Order and Restoration 
Council (SLORC), which arranged those elections, refused to honor the 
results and instead imprisoned and persecuted many of our elected 
Members of Parliament and our supporters.  We were therefore forced to 
form the NCGUB in exile and have continued to work with many like-minded 
groups, such as the Federation of the Trade Unions - Burma (FTUB) and 
others, to fight for the restoration of democracy in our homeland.  Led 
by our leader, Nobel Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, we are confident 
that we will ultimately prevail.

As leaders of a future democratic government in Burma, we are 
continually shocked and outraged by the rampant and widespread human and 
labor rights abuses against individuals from all of Burma's ethnic 
groups. SLORC's widespread use of forced labor on infrastructure 
projects and use of innocent civilians as porters of military supplies 
in war zones, in complete contravention of Burma's treaty commitments as 
a state that has ratified ILO Convention #29, has resulted in the death, 
injury and impoverishment of countless persons.

Under the SLORC, Burma has become one of the most egregious users of 
forced labor in the world, leaving a stain on Burma's international 
reputation. As the leaders of a future democratic government in Burma, 
we pledge to erase that stain and fully comply with requirements of ILO 
Convention #29.  Let me add that we greatly appreciate the hard work of 
the ICFTU/ITSs and the international trade union movement in exposing 
these abuses at the ILO and in other forums and hope it will continue. 

Furthermore, to give the workers of Burma the rights to which they are 
certainly entitled, we wish to inform you that we have made the 
following policy determination as the rightful government of Burma. When 
democracy is restored, it will be the policy of the new democratic 
government to move immediately to ratify and enforce the following key 
ILO Conventions:

(1)No. 87--Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize
(2)	No. 98 --  Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention
(3)	No. 105 -- Abolition of Forced Labor Convention
(4)	No. 135 -- Workers Representatives Convention
(5)	No. 138 -- Minimum Age Convention

Until democratic rule is restored, we will continue to work with the 
Burmese trade union movement and our friends in the international trade 
union movement to educate Burmese workers at home and abroad about these 
important conventions.  We greatly appreciate the support that the 
democratic movement in Burma has received from the ICFTU, the ITSs and 
many national labor federations and we look forward to continuing to 
work with you towards the day when democratic rule is returned to Burma 
and the rights of all the workers in our country are guaranteed.