Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Journal of Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI). Asbestos Free India campaign of BANI is inspired by trade union movement and right to health campaign. BANI has been working since 2000. It works with peoples movements, doctors, researchers and activists besides trade unions, human rights, environmental, consumer and public health groups. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedy for victims.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Quebec delays ban on Asbestos mining

Canadian Labour Congress delays call for ban on asbestos mining

Roughly 700 people work in Quebec's asbestos industry

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2008 |
CBC News

A decision by Canada's largest labour body on whether to call for a ban on asbestos mining has been put on hold after pressure from its Quebec affiliate.

For decades, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)has refused to criticize an industry that is criticized internationally as a deadly threat to its workers and the public at large.

Last fall, CLC president Ken Georgetti said he was embarassed by Canada's leading role in the global asbestos trade and promised that at their next meeting, the labour body's leaders would finally call for a ban on asbestos production in Canada.

"It should have been banned years ago and I'm ashamed we export asbestos to Third World countries," Georgetti said in October at a gathering of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour.

But the executive committee meeting came and went last week with only a promise to debate the issue again soon, CBC News has learned.

Last week, Michel Arsenault, president of the Quebec Federation of Labour, convinced his CLC colleagues not to call for a ban until after a new Health Canada study on the risks of asbestos is completed and made public.

In an interview with CBC News, Arsenault insisted working in an asbestos mine was safe, saying people in many countries had developed a "psychosis" over the substance.
"There's no more health danger working in an asbestos mine than working in a steel mill or working on a street corner in Toronto, for Christ's sake," Arsenault said Monday. "It's a very dangerous animal, but now we know how to work with it in a safe way."

Roughly 700 people work in Quebec's asbestos industry. Canada is the only developed nation still producing the mineral, called a deadly threat by the International Labour Organization, the World Health Organization, the International Association for Cancer Research and many more health agencies.

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