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Disney alert and letter

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                     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:  clr@xxxxxxxxxxx  (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