Economic downturn from COVID-19 putting increased pressure on $5 for the Fight fund

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Your help is needed

With a second $1,200 stimulus paycheck to workers being held up by Republicans in the U.S. Senate, and unemployment at record highs, St. Louis area workers’ assistance needs are increasing demand on the Robert J. Kelley $5 for The Fight Fund that helps union families in need.

Here are a few of the most recent requests for help that received assistance from the Fight Fund and the United Way, whose Labor liaisons manage the fund for the St. Louis Labor Council:

  • A union member and single mother of four, with two children still at home. The youngest is 12 and has battled cancer for seven years. The child’s health issues have taken a toll on the entire family. The mother is currently out on short-term disability and receiving only 50 percent of her total wages. The family did not have enough income to cover their bills and their gas service was scheduled to be disconnected.
  • A union schoolteacher and single parent of four. Her electric bill got out of control and her rent was due, but she only had half of the amount needed. She was able to enroll in Ameren’s “Keeping Current” plan.  She needed help with rent.
  • A newspaper union member with a child at home called for help with her gas bill after spending her limited available money to schedule someone to check her wiring, because she was hearing popping in the walls.
  • A union hotel worker laid-off due to coronavirus was worried about paying her rent. She had put in applications for other jobs but rent day was fast approaching.

The Fight Fund and the United Way were able to help in these cases, but calls for help continue to come in and demand is expected to get worse.

NEEDS EXPECTED TO INCREASE
“Despite efforts to re-open the local economy, fewer workers are going back to work which means even more calls on the Fight Fund are coming, and we need to be ready to help,” said Pat White, president, St. Louis Labor Council.

“We are asking everyone who is working to consider helping at this critical time. It’s a question of union solidarity and I’m confident, based on the recent influx of money from the last Labor Tribune story, that our members will continue to respond and provide the help our union brothers and sisters need.”

CAN YOU HELP?
If you can help, please write a check to “$5 for the Fight” knowing that your contribution will help someone in desperate need of help. There are four ways to give:

WAYS TO GIVE

  • Mail: Check/money order to “$5 for the Fight, c/o St. Louis Labor Council, 3301 Hollenberg Drive, Bridgeton, MO 63044; please include your union affiliation.
  • Online – 5-for-the-fight will take you to a secure payment site to make a one-time donation or an “automatic monthly deduction.”
  • Schnucks eScrip program is ‘free money’ as Schnucks donates a percentage of your purchase to the Fight Fund. Shoppers should consider picking up a free eScrip card at a local Schnucks.

One hundred percent of each donation goes into the “Fight Fund.”

“From a lot of grateful brothers and sisters, ‘thank you’ to all who have given, and those making a new or renewed donation,” said John Stiffler, executive secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council.

“Every dollar is vital. Please give what you can.”

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