June 23, 2004

Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer, JJB Sports, is withdrawing Sergio Tacchini stock from all its stores because it was manufactured in Burma. JJB has a policy of not stocking any products made in Burma.

The Burma Campaign UK has welcomed the move, which comes just 24 hours after it launched a boycott of Sergio Tacchini to persuade the company to leave Burma.

“This is a major blow for Sergio Tacchini,” said Mark Farmaner, Campaigns Officer at the Burma Campaign UK. “To have their stock removed from Britain’s biggest sports retailer is a humiliation for them. We will be approaching other retailers stocking Sergio Tacchini to ask them to do the same.”

Yesterday Sergio Tacchini was inundated with hundreds of emails from customers and campaigners pledging to boycott the company. They were receiving an email every minute yesterday afternoon. The emails came from over a dozen countries.

Campaigners have promised protests at Centre Court if any player sponsored by Sergio Tacchini, such as Juan Carlos Ferrero, reaches the final wearing Sergio Tacchini sportswear. They have called on tennis stars to support the campaign.

Clothing exports are a major source of revenue for Burma’s military dictatorship. Companies are attracted by wages as low as 5p an hour. A factory employee working 60 hours a week could earn just £3. This is below the United Nation’s definition of an extreme poverty income. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called on companies not to trade with Burma.

“This campaign will grow and grow,” said Mark Farmaner. “Sergio Tacchini are funding a regime whose soldiers rape five year old girls as part of their persecution of ethnic minorities. This cannot be allowed to continue.”

Last year two other Italian sportswear companies, Kappa and Lotto, pulled out of Burma following boycott campaigns. Most clothing companies and retailers refuse to source clothing from Burma because of human rights concerns. They include ADIDAS, Calvin Klein, Nike, Gap, Reebok, Puma, Tesco, M&S and over 100 others.

For more information contact Mark Farmaner, Media Officer, on 020 7324 4713


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