CAW Recommits to Mozambique De-mining

December 8, 2007


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CAW Recommits to Mozambique De-mining
CAW Recommits to Mozambique De-mining
dated December 8, 2007

Toronto, Ontario
December 8, 2007

       A decade ago the Canadian Auto Workers union led the way for the private sector in providing funding and support for the Mine Ban Treaty, known world wide as the Ottawa Treaty. To mark the tenth anniversary Aderito Ismael, the head of the CAW-sponsored Handicap International de-mining project in Mozambique spoke to the CAW Council meeting in Toronto, December 8, 2007.

Aderito Ismael
Handicap International De-mining Project

       "One of the more important things that the CAW has provided to us is the machine you are seeing in the picture, allowed us to go from a clearance of 100,000 square meters a year up to one million. We can now clear one million square-meters a year thanks to the CAW machine."

       Ismael outlined the progress over the past decade and told the delegates that the end is in sight.

Aderito Ismael
CAW National President

       "In the next two years we can clear 22 from the 33 total districts in the area we operate. We can finish the 22 of them in the first two years and we think we can finish the 33 of them in the next three years."

       Ismael thanked the delegates not only for their funding for de-mining but also for the on-going involvement which has helped build schools and a factory to make prosthetics.

       Carol Phillips, assistant to CAW's National President, spoke of how well recognized the union is in Mozambique for the important work it is doing.

Carol Phillips
Assistant to CAW National President

       "I've hear Aderito speak to the de-miners and he said to them; "I want you to know that this project is very different. And this funding is very different because this money comes from ordinary working men and women who have chosen to help us out in our time of need so it is very special money. It is very personal money and it is a very Canadian hand of solidarity to us."

       The Council unanimously voted to continue the union's funding of land mine removal in Mozambique and other landmine affected countries.

       CAW National President Buzz Hargrove urged the federal government to follow the union's example.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "We are challenging the government who say there is no money available now for these programs like everything else. The only money they seem to have is billions and billions of dollars in surplus, is money to give tax breaks to the wealthy and the corporations. And we have got a campaign going there to re-introduce the funding, and we will put our share in. But don't give up on the people, on the kids who run through those fields and hit the land mines and get their legs blown off. No government should be allowed to give up."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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