Global Unions

Companies linked to Burma

Companies linked to Burma

A military dictatorship has ruled Burma for several decades. It is one of the worst human and trade union rights offenders in the world. There are not only forced labour and other serious human and trade union rights abuses on a large scale, there is no freedom of association and no democracy. The international trade union movement believes that it is impossible to conduct any trade or engage in other economic activity with Burma without providing direct or indirect support, mostly financial, to the military junta.

A database has been compiled by the ITUC and the Global Union Federations, based on publicly available information indicating that companies have business links with Burma, or have recently had such links and no evidence has been found that these links have ended.

It is a database of companies which appear, from the information available, to have some form of relationship with Burma. In some cases, this link will be trade with, investment in or other business activities in Burma, for others it may be direct contact between the company and officials of the regime. It may also be that the company promotes or advertises tourism in the country.

The criterion used was that a company either operates in Burma, has business relations with the country, has been in direct contact with the officials of the regime or promotes tourism in the country.

By April 2004, over 650 companies had received a letter from the international trade union movement, drawing attention to the decision of the ILO Governing Body to fully implement the ILO resolution [1] on Burma adopted at the International Labour Conference in June 2000 and to the publicly available information indicating that the company has links with Burma. The letter requested that they sever their links.

Over 100 companies replied, some of them denying their involvement, some of them admitting their presence, some of them defending their activities as beneficial to the people of Burma and some of them asking to open a dialogue about their Burma links.

A few companies let us know that they have withdrawn from Burma recently and/or are in the process of doing so, in some cases a result of the contacts we have had with the company. Those companies were removed from the list. Companies with which we are in dialogue on this issue may also be temporarily removed from the list pending the outcome of the dialogue.

The violent repression of democracy protests in September 2007 led us to again write to more than 400 companies which are believed to have business links to Burma, calling on them to end these links. Information on these companies is now contained in this list.

This list is not exhaustive. We are ready to correct any factual errors which it may contain. As we receive information on further companies which are active in Burma we will approach them in the same way and, depending on their reaction, add them to the list.


Companies linked to Burma


Documents

- Text of letter sent to companies in October 2007 (pdf)
- Text of letter sent to companies in October 2005 (pdf)
- Text of letter sent to companies in April 2004(pdf)
- Text of letter sent to companies in September 2003(pdf)
- Text of letter sent to companies in March 2003(pdf)
- Text of letter sent to companies in September 2002(pdf)
- Text of letter sent to companies in December 2001(pdf)
- Text of letter sent to companies in September 2001(pdf)
- Text of letter sent to companies in May 2001(pdf)

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Burma

Footnotes

[1] The resolution "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".