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KMART AND HOME DEPOT ASKED TO STOP DOING BUSINESS WITH THE CHINESE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY

 WASHINGTON, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Robert F. Harbrant, president of the Food and Allied Services Trades Department, AFL-CIO (F.A.S.T.), today released letters to the chairman of the boards of Kmart Corporation (NYSE: KM) and Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE: HD) requesting that they cease doing business with the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), and requiring all of their suppliers to do likewise.
 In separate letters to Joseph E. Antonini of Kmart and Bernard Marcus of Home Depot, Harbrant detailed some of the known PLA business relationships with each company and their suppliers.
 "We want Kmart and Home Depot to remove all PLA products from their shelves right away," Harbrant stated.
 "Their customers are directly, and unwittingly, subsidizing the People's Liberation Army when they buy these products," he said.
 FAST, which is engaged in a comprehensive study of PLA business in the United States, sent a representative to China posing as a businessman. He spent nearly six weeks negotiating with various PLA companies and visiting their factories.
 Both Home Depot and Kmart purchase products from a company called NORINCO (China North Industries Corp.), which the investment bank Bear Stearns, in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission has called "a major manufacturing arm of the People's Liberation Army."
 NORINCO has supplied Home Depot with more than 127 metric tons of rugs, and Kmart and its subsidiaries with rifles, riflescopes, alarm clocks, outdoor lights, miniblinds, and rattan furniture.
 Harbrant advised Marcus, whose company has denied NORINCO is a Chinese military entity, that Jane's Defence Weekly has published articles in the last year about NORINCO's announcement of a "prototype stage remote control scatterable mine-laying system for the export market," and "its new 203 mm (8 inch) artillery system, which has a longer range than any artillery system currently in service worldwide."
 Harbrant also presented Marcus with information about Northeast Jincheng Industrial proving that it is part of the People's Liberation Army. Northeast Jincheng has supplied both Home Depot and one of its vendors, LDR Industries of Chicago, with hundreds of thousands of pounds of oak toilet seats.
 Saying Kmart's research into the question of whether it was buying from the Chinese military was "either incompetent or disingenuous," Harbrant cited Kmart's receipt of a 10.9 metric ton shipment of men's blue jeans from Xinxing, the PLA's principal trading company.
 Harbrant reminded both executives that the "People's Liberation Army was responsible for the massacre of thousands of workers and students in Tiananmen Square in 1989." And, "(I)t is the force which continues to exercise real repressive power in China, a country which does not allow its people even the most basic of human freedoms."
 FAST is a constitutional department of the AFL-CIO representing the 3.5 million members of 16 different unions.
 The full text of both letters is available upon request by calling 202-737-7200 or faxing to 202-737-7208.
 -0- 4/18/94
 /CONTACT: Judy Pfeiffer or Jeffrey Fiedler, 202-737-7200, of Food and Allied Services Trades Department, AFL-CIO/
 (KM HD)


CO: Food and Allied Services Trades Department, AFL-CIO; Kmart
 Corporation; Home Depot Inc.; NORINCO ST: District of Columbia IN: REA SU:


DC-KF -- DC025 -- 7679 04/18/94 12:21 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 18, 1994
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