Documents menu

Date: Tue, 22 Jul 97 10:06:40 CDT
From: Mike Rhodes <>
Subject: Ralph Lauren and Warnaco End Manufacturing in Burma!
Labor Alerts/Labor News
a service of Campaign for Labor Rights
1247 "E" Street SE, Washington, DC 20003 (541) 344-5410
Subject: Ralph Lauren and Warnaco End Manufacturing in Burma!

Ralph Lauren and Warnaco End Manufacturing in Burma!

Action Update from Campaign for Labor Rights, 22 July 1997

Summary: Polo Ralph Lauren Company has stopped doing business in Burma "until conditions have changed" according to a company spokesperson. Warnaco, which owns and manufactures the Chaps Ralph Lauren Label that was produced in Burma, confirmed the end to all of its production in Burma. The Burmese National League for Democracy, which won over 82 percent of the popular vote in 1990 in an election that was overturned by the military, is calling for a total economic boycott against the country.

Background: A previous Action Alert noted that Ralph Lauren and Warnaco were manufacturing in Burma while grave labor and human rights violations were (and are still) occurring at the hands of the brutal military dictatorship of the country. As the repression escalated, there was an increase of U.S. apparel imports from Burma, and Ralph Lauren was in a position to earn hundreds of millions of dollars. Warnaco had recently pulled out of the White House Task Force to Eliminate Sweatshop Abuses because they were afraid independent monitoring of factories and contractors would damage them competitively if trade secrets became public (this in a company that makes garments, not spy satellites).

Concerned individuals were asked to write to Polo Ralph Lauren about the abuses of the Burmese government and urge the company to take a stand for democracy by removing their company's name from any association with the dictatorial government there.

Along with refusing to do business in Burma until democracy is restored, the Polo Ralph Lauren Company has recently been participating in discussions with the White House Task Force to Eliminate Sweatshop Abuses. They are not yet a participating member.

[Unfortunately, J. Crew, Lee, and Arrow Shirts are still producing in Burma.]

Action for Consideration: You may wish to write or fax the Polo Ralph Lauren Company congratulating them for their removal of their business from Burma and encouraging them to better monitor their business practices in the future.

Letters or faxes can be sent to:

Mr. Ralph Lauren, Chairman
Polo Ralph Lauren
650 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
fax: 212-888-5780

For more information contact Maggie Poe at the National Labor

Committee, 275 7th Ave. New York, NY 10001, (212) 242-3002. For information about the Burma democracy movement, contact the Free Burma Coalition at (608) 256-6572, e-mail:

CAMPAIGN FOR LABOR RIGHTS MEMBERSHIPS: Send $35.00 to CLR, 1247 "E" Street SE, Washington, DC 20003 to become a member of the CLR. For a sample copy of our newsletter, send your postal address to

To receive our e-mail Labor Alerts send a message to with "labor alerts -- all campaigns" in the subject line or specify which labor issues interest: Nike, Disney, Guess, child labor, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador, US farm workers, US poultry processing workers. If you would like to receive information which falls outside those categories (prison labor, workfare, other policy issues, additional briefing material on some campaigns), indicate that you want to be on Additional Labor Information List AS WELL as our All Campaigns list.