Myanmar disappointed over ILO vote

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at
Fri Nov 24 19:22:57 MST 2000

snedeker wrote:

> >this article poses some important issues. does anyone know >of a good study
> >of the uses  of forced  labor in the contemporary global
> >economy?

I don't remember when, but once upon a time Lou posted an article on pen-l
describing how Nike capitalists in Vietnam were literally forcing Vietnamese
women to work in the factories (beating, harrassing, etc..). I am not sure if
they were wage laborers though. Even if they were, they were forced into  wage
laborer--"forced free laborers", so to speak. Looks to me a  typical example of
"primitive accumulation" that takes place in the periphery of the world system.
Hence the importance of Marx.

It might be interesting to look at free trade export zones in Latin America to
see the forms of labor there, particularly in Apparel/maquiladora industry on
Mexican border.


> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Ulhas Joglekar <ulhasj at>
> To: <marxism at>
> Sent: Friday, November 24, 2000 7:56 PM
> Subject: Myanmar disappointed over ILO vote
> > Saturday
> > 18 November 2000
> >
> > Myanmar disappointed over ILO vote
> > YANGON: Myanmar expressed bitter disappointment on Friday over the
> > International Labour Organisation's (ILO) decision to invite its members
> to
> > bring sanctions against the military regime, over the issue of forced
> > labour.
> > A senior spokesman for the junta said that efforts to stamp out the
> > practice, and its willingness to cooperate with the ILO monitoring team
> > which visited Yangon twice this year, had been ignored.
> > "The ILO decision to activate measures against Myanmar proves that the ILO
> > and, the governing body in particular, have already made up their minds
> and
> > don't want to be confused with any facts," he said.
> > "They have turned a blind eye on the efforts, positive developments,
> sincere
> > cooperation and the political will the Myanmar government has taken, to be
> > in accordance with the ILO convention (on) forced labour."
> > The spokesman said "big and powerful nations" were using labour rights as
> "a
> > pretext to coerce, pressurise and interfere in the domestic affairs" of
> > poorer countries.
> > The ILO had ordered Myanmar to comply with recommendations made by a 1998
> > committee of inquiry, which found forced labour to be "widespread and
> > systematic."
> > Sanctions were recommended by the International Labour Conferencee in June
> > but put on hold until the end of this month to give the junta time to take
> > concrete action.
> > The ILO team, which made a six-day mission to the country last month,
> found
> > the government had made progress in changing its laws to end the use of
> > forced labour, but far less in putting legislative changes into practice.
> > In the months preceding the ILO's decision, Myanmar's generals had
> indicated
> > they were extremely concerned about the action, which could lead to
> further
> > sanctions from its member states and organisations.
> > It now remains to be seen what action will be taken against the regime,
> > which is already labouring under wide-ranging international sanctions that
> > have helped cripple the economy.
> > Sources in Yangon said the junta was anxious to avoid trade union bans
> that
> > would see its agricultural exports turned away from ports around the
> world,
> > particularly on the eastern seaboard of India.
> > It is feared that any new trade bans would deal a mortal blow to the
> > economy, which critics say is saved from complete collapse only by the
> > thriving black market and profits from the drugs trade.
> > Sources close to the negotiations between ILO team leader Francis Maupain
> > and the government said the two sides developed a good working
> relationship
> > during the mission's visits.
> > Deputy Foreign Minister Khin Maung Win told AFP last week that Myanmar was
> > "hoping for the best but prepared for the worst" ahead of the ILO's vote,
> > but nevertheless the decision has come as a great disappointment.
> > The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) says nearly
> one
> > million people are currently subjected to forced labour in Myanmar.
> > The Brussels-based organisation said this week it had also examined more
> > than 400 labour requisition orders issued by members of the army and
> several
> > dozen witness statements since June.
> > ICFTU's general secretary Bill Jordan has welcomed the ILO's "firm
> position"
> > and said it "not only sends a strong signal to the generals in Rangoon but
> > is also a message of hope for Burmese democrats and for the hundreds of
> > thousands of victims of inhuman exploitation." (AFP)
> > For reprint rights:Times Syndication Service
> > Copyright © 2000 Times Internet Limited. All rights reserved.  Disclaimer
> >
> >
> >


Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222

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