CAW Land Mine Initiative

December 8, 1997

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CAW Land Mine Initiative
CAW Land Mine
dated December 8, 1997

CAW Land Mine Initiative
While Canada took center stage at the Land Mine Conference in Ottawa, for the signing of the treaty banning the use of land mines, the CAW announced the pledging of a substantial sum to help in the de-mining effort.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"Our union has made an initial decision to donate 1.25 million dollars over the next three years to support the de-mining of Mozambique."

In addition, Hargrove said CAW locals have been asked to raise another one and a quarter million dollars; and he challenged other unions to match the CAW's efforts.

Canada's Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy noted the CAW was the first organization to pledge funding for the de-mining effort. He praised the CAW for setting an example that hopefully other unions and the private sector would follow.

Lloyd Axworthy
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs

"I think that the initiative taken by the members of the Canadian Auto Workers further demonstrates that this is an issue that people can get involved in, where there's no borders, or frontiers that separates us, but in fact binds us together"

Mozambique's Foreign Minister welcomed the CAW's commitment as having more importance than just the dollar amount.

Dr. Leonardo Simao
Mozambique Foreign Minister

"There is another dimension which we usually don't talk about but which is always there and it's much more important than money and technology, which is the moral support we have received from you, the sense of solidarity."

The Canadian government followed the CAW lead by pledging 100 million dollars toward the global de-mining effort.

During a round table discussion at the conference, Hargrove explained the funds for the de-mining will come from the CAW's Social Justice Fund.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"This clearly is an expression of our commitment to social unionism, which takes in the broader human family including people overseas who are suffering from the tragedy of land mines."

CAW's involvement in the anti-land mines movement goes back a number of years when it joined Mines Action Canada. It is working with Mines Action Canada to set up an award for universities and university students who develop new, safer, and less expensive de-mining technology.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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