USA: NBA Pulls Myanmar-Made Sweatshirts From Shelves
The $60 sweatshirts, which bear the slogan 'I Love This Game', were removed from shelves at the Fifth Avenue store on Tuesday following a protest lodged by the National Labour Committee (NLC), an anti-sweatshop group.
NLC director Charles Kernaghan said he was shocked to learn the NBA was selling merchandise from Myanmar, where workers are allegedly paid as little as seven US cents an hour and risk imprisonment for questioning factory conditions.
"That's just flat-out wrong," he said.
"Burma is one of the most vicious dictatorships in the world."
However, the NBA argued that all makers of league-affiliated merchandise had to sign a code of conduct, which required factories to meet approved working condition standards.
"This is an isolated incident and we're continuing to examine the situation so that it doesn't happen again," NBA spokesman Matt Bourne said.
In July, the US Government passed a law banning imports form Myanmar because of its poor human rights record.
According to documents obtained by the NLC, the sweatshirts were shipped to America in August, after the ban was enacted but before it took effect on September 1.
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