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News ::
Counter Macy’s lame claims about their Burma business!
14 Jan 2002
Macy’s thinks they can fool the public who demand that they cut ties to Burma, but we won’t be fooled!
Recently, a number of people concerned about human rights in Burma emailed Macy’s to pressure them to stop stocking products from Burma. Macy’s response to this first round of protest emails was lame and insulting – they sent a virtual copy of their code of conduct for overseas production.

If you are half-asleep or half brain-dead, the code of conduct makes Macy’s parent company, Federated Department Stores, look really caring. It talks a lot about how Federated will ensure that its contracted manufacturers comply with labor laws overseas, and how they will suspend shipments from manufacturers that it finds are breaking those labor laws.

But while some countries have labor laws that actually recognize workers as human beings, and Burma of course has no labor laws that it chooses to enforce.

Now, Macy’s seems to have tried a different response. Recently they have claimed that “a small number of manufacturers whose merchandise is carried in our stores still may choose to source there,” and that, “it is, therefore, directly with these vendors, as well as with those who formulate international policy within the U.S. government” that we should address our concerns.

Thanks, but we’re already doing that – and it doesn’t let Macy’s, or Federated, off the hook. In fact it shows how isolated they are in trying to shirk their responsibility.

The bottom line is simple – we want Macy’s to stop retailing products from Burma. Until Macy’s does this, all their rhetoric about concern for labor rights doesn’t mean a thing.

If you’ve already written to Macy’s and received their lame reply, now is the time to write back and demand that they stop stocking products from Burma. And if you haven’t written to Macy’s yet, now is the time to start because it is only through grassroots pressure that we will pressure them to do the right thing!

Points to include in your email:

· You are aware that Federated does not source private-label product from manufacturers in Burma; but that their “Vendor/Supplier Code of Conduct” makes little difference as long as Federated continues to retail products from companies who not concerned about the conditions under which their products are produced.
· Federated’s policy does not address the manufacture of products in the countries with the worst labor standards of all: those where there is no rule of law, like Burma.
· Factories in Burma, including garment factories, are closely tied to “child” and “forced labor and unsafe working conditions” which Federated claims to oppose. Forced labor – including forced child labor – is used in the construction of Burma’s factories and infrastructure.
· Other companies have agreed to stop stocking products from Burma, including Wal-Mart, TJX, Ames Department Stores, IKEA, Williams Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, Costco, and Family Dollar.
· Since Federated carries products made in Burma from “a small number of manufacturers”, it should be easy for them to stop.
· Federated perpetuates forced labor in Burma by helping to create a demand for products made there, and Federated has the moral duty to stop.

Email Macy’s on their website at Cc emails, and any responses you get from Federated to dbeeton (at)

For more information on the boycott of Federated Stores, or call 202-547-5985.
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