Scott Hargis, president of the Machinists District 9 Automotive Lodge 777, said he felt a brotherhood with the Jefferson City automotive workers who lost their jobs, and in some cases, their homes, due to the May 22 tornado that ripped through their community.
“Even though they’re not union shops, they’re in our trade, and I believe support from our union will send a positive message to them,” Hargis said. “We help communities in need, regardless of their affiliations. Maybe the kindness and support from our membership will make them think about union membership when they get back on their feet.”
Hargis collected non-perishable food and personal items from the various Local 777 shops and at union meetings.
On Sunday, July 14, he and Local Lodge 660 officers and Women’s Committee member Shannon Anderson delivered a truckload of food designated especially for the automotive workers, placed in a separate location inside the large distribution warehouse set up by the Seventh Day Adventists.
The facility, a Multi-Agency Resources Center, operates in partnership with Capital West Christian Church. The Center is a “one-stop shop” where private and public relief agencies offer services to disaster victims.
The twister tore a 19-mile path through the state capital, leaving three-square-miles of destruction, including substantial damage to the Riley Automotive dealership where 500 new vehicles were totaled.
The Missouri Office of Administration said at least five state buildings were damaged in the storm, but the Missouri Capitol Building and Governor’s Mansion were spared.
Hargis, who also serves as chairman of the Community Resource Committee said that over the years, Machinists District 9 has contributed thousands of items to those in need.
“We need to stand together and treat each other as brothers and sisters, and our union will be stronger together,” Hargis said.
Help union members affected by disaster with the Missouri Working Families Relief Fund
The Missouri AFL-CIO has created a Missouri Working Families Relief Fund to send a message of hope and solidarity to working people affected by recent flooding, tornadoes and other catastrophes.
The Fund provides union members with another avenue to be on the front lines and help working people who’ve had their lives turned upside down. The fund will provide some financial assistance to natural disaster victims to help them begin to rebuild their lives.
“As a Labor Movement, we know we’re strongest when we stand arm in arm,” said Mike Louis, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO. “The Missouri Working Families Relief Fund creates an opportunity for union members to help other members during their time of need.”
MAKE A DONATION
You can make an online donation to the fund https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/working-families-relief-fund?source=direct_link&, or mail a check payable to “Missouri Working Families Relief Fund” and mail to the Missouri AFL-CIO, Attn: Working Families Relief Fund, 227 Jefferson St., Jefferson City, MO 65101.
Donations will be distributed to the state’s Central Labor Councils in the form of gift cards to be disseminated by union locals or presented directly to individuals in need.
IF YOU NEED HELP
Members who have been affected by any of the recent flooding, tornadoes, or other catastrophes can contact their local Labor Council office (https://moaflcio.org/missouri-labor-councils) to get assistance.
Or, members may contact Vickie Beck at the Missouri AFL-CIO office at 573-634-2115 or email@example.com.