Support Breasts, Not Dictators Favorite 



Dec 10 2001


Great Britain

Barbed-wire bra protest over Burma investment 

BBC News Monday, 10 December, 2001 

 Triumph International, a leading European luxury lingerie firm, is facing a fierce boycott campaign because of its operations in Burma.
Under the slogan "Support Breasts - not Dictators", protestors will urge British consumers to boycott the firm until its Burmese factory is closed.

The campaign features a hard-hitting advert showing a picture of a barbed wire bra.

Burma has one of the worst human rights records in the world and its working practices have been condemned by the UN's International Labour Organisation.

A number of companies - including Coca Cola, BHS, Levi Strauss, Apple and Reebok - have in the past decade agreed to abandon their operations in Burma, following pressure from human rights groups.

Triumph International is a German, Swiss-based multinational company that is one of Europe's main retailers of lingerie with an annual turnover of $1.6bn and 30,000 staff worldwide.

According to the Burma Campaign group of protestors, Triumph International established a Burmese subsidiary in 1996 and opened a factory there in April 1997.

The Burma Campaign is calling for a boycott of all Triumph products until the company closes its Burma-based manufacturing sites.

No one at Triumph International in the UK or in Germany was available for comment on Monday.

But a company spokesman had previously told the Observer newspaper that conditions in its Burmese factory met European standards.

International outrage

According to the regime's official statistics, Burma has attracted $7.39bn of foreign investment in 366 projects between the start of 1998 and August 2001.

Last year, investments totalled $152.8m, mostly injected into the manufacturing, oil and agriculture sectors of the economy.

The British campaign is part of wider international campaign that includes the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the International Textile, Garment and Leather workers' Federation.

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