June 22, 2004

Goran Ivanisivic and Juan Carlos Ferrero called on to join boycott of Sergio Tacchini until they stop manufacturing clothes in Burma.

Campaigners promise protests at Centre Court if either player reaches final wearing Sergio Tacchini sportswear.

The Burma Campaign UK today launched a boycott of Sergio Tacchini, the Italian sportswear company, after receiving evidence that it manufactures clothes in military-run Burma. Tennis stars Goran Ivanisivic and Juan Carlos Ferrero are both sponsored by Sergio Tacchini.

“We are sure that once Goran Ivanisivic and Juan Carlos Ferrero find out that Sergio Tacchini are in Burma they will be as shocked as we are,” said Mark Farmaner, Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK. “We hope that they will use their influence to get Sergio Tacchini to pull out of Burma.”

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 Nations definition of an extreme poverty income. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called on companies not to trade with Burma.

“The regime in Burma is notorious for imprisoning and torturing political opponents, persecuting ethnic minorities, and using rape as a weapon of war,” said Mark Farmaner. “By manufacturing in Burma Sergio Tacchini are funding that regime.”  Burma’s dictatorship spends half of its income on the military, and just 19p per person per year on health.

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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