By TIM ROWDEN
The $5 for the Fight fund, which helps union members who are out of work, under employed or facing other financial hardships, received a recent boost from the Simmons Hanly Conroy law firm with the presentation of a $25,000 check.
Simmons shareholder Chris Guinn presented the check to St. Louis Labor Council President Pat White last week at the Labor Council offices in Bridgeton, MO, marking the fifth year that Simmons has contributed $25,000 to the Fight Fund in a challenge grant to raise matching funds from union members.
Simmons Hanly Conroy is a leading national law firm that represents union members and their families throughout Missouri and Illinois in cases of asbestos exposure and other personal injuries.
“This is just a small way that we can give back,” Guinn said. “Our firm is a big supporter of unions. I grew up in a union family. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for them.”
White praised the firm, which he said is always there when Labor calls.
“We can’t thank them enough,” White said. “The Fight Fund is crucial to our members in need, and the grant challenge makes a big difference. We can’t say enough good about Simmons. Everything we do from the Fight Fund to the locals’ golf tournaments, we just put in a call and they’re there. It’s a great relationship.”
UNION MEMBERS MET THE CHALLENGE, BUT DEMAND REMAINS HIGH
Union members met the law firm’s challenge, but the demand remains high. At last check, there was about $40,000 in the Fight Fund.
The Fight Fund is administered for the Labor Council by the United Way of Greater St. Louis.
United Way Labor Liaison Amy Phillips said they are fielding about 40 calls a week and have about 15 cases pending at any given time right now.
In August, Phillips said the Fight Fund assisted 51 families.
“It’s been higher than normal lately,” Phillips said. “They could be getting fewer hours. They could be out of work. They could have health emergencies. There are a lot of reasons that people call for help. It seems like the economy is doing better for some, but for others, times are tough. There are still a lot of people in need.”
That’s where the Fight Fund comes in, and the generosity of union members and supporters like the Simmons Hanly Conroy law firm really come into play.
“It’s crucial that everybody has done their part to make this happen,” Phillips said of the donations. “It’s a really great feeling when you can help.”