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6 Nov 2001

International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions [ICEM]

Cape plc Opens Talks With South African Asbestos Victims: First breakthrough in compensation campaign?

Cape mined asbestos in South Africa for almost a century. "Children were employed, unprotected, in the most hazardous tasks of sorting asbestos with their bare hands and trampling it with their bare feet," recalled ICEM General Secretary Fred Higgs in letters last month to Montpellier and other major shareholders. "Due to the atrocious conditions at the mines and mills, thousands of South Africans developed the fatal asbestos cancer, mesothelioma, and the debilitating disease of asbestosis."