Missouri AFL-CIO creates Working Families Relief Fund to help union families impacted by tornadoes and flooding

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HUNDREDS OF UNION FAMILIES have been affected by this year’s tornadoes and flooding. The Missouri AFL-CIO has created a Missouri Working Families Relief Fund to help union families recover.

In the wake of this spring’s spate of natural disasters across the state, the Missouri AFL-CIO has created a Missouri Working Families Relief Fund to send a message of hope and solidarity to working people in need.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson requested a second federal disaster declaration last week in response to flooding and tornadoes.

As always, union members are leading the relief efforts. First responders, public employees, and working people across the state are on the front lines evacuating people to safety, tending to the injured, restoring power, and rebuilding.

The Missouri Working Families Relief 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.

“We’ve had hundreds of families adversely affected by recently flooding, tornadoes and other catastrophes,” said Mike Louis, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO. “We’re doing as much as we can to help each and every one.

“As a Labor Movement, we know we’re strongest when we stand arm in arm. The Missouri Working Families Relief Fund creates an opportunity for union members to help other members during their time of need,” he said.

MAKE A DONATION

You can make an online donation to the fund here, 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.

Louis extended a special “thank you” to the Bank of Labor for helping set up the bank account and gift card program for the Relief Fund.

IF YOU NEED HELP

Members who have been affected by any of the recent flooding, tornadoes, or other catastrophes can contact their local Central Labor Council office to get assistance.

Or, members may contact Vickie Beck at the Missouri AFL-CIO office at 573-634-2115 or vbeck@moaflcio.org. Here is the form that you will need to fill out.

Laborers’ Disaster Response Team expands
emergency response coverage to Metro East

O’Fallon, IL – Responding to this year’s seemingly endless deluge of storms and flooding and the need to be prepared for future disasters, the Laborers’ Disaster Response Team (LDRT) has expanded its emergency response coverage to Illinois’ Metro East.

LDRT Director Brad Schaive turned the keys of an emergency response truck over to LIUNA Local 670 Business Manager Travis Craig last week.

The truck and equipment in it will be based in O’Fallon, IL, and will serve as a hub for LDRT to respond to any natural disaster in the area within 90 minutes to clear debris so EMT’s and emergency crews can get into disaster zones.

“This will enable the Local 670 team to deploy during an emergency and establish an operation center ready to go when our volunteers from around the state arrive to start clearing debris,” said Schaive. “It’s important for LDRT to expand throughout the state so we can maintain that 90-minute reaction because that’s when it’s most imperative, when the power lines are down, when the EMT’s and the emergency crews can’t get into the disaster zones.”

LABORERS LOCAL 670 Business Manager Travis Craig (left) receives the keys to an emergency response truck from Laborers’ Disaster Response Team (LDRT) Director Brad Schaive. – Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) photo

LDRT is comprised of workers in the building trades, Laborers, Operating Engineers and Teamsters, who because of their professional training, they can safely and efficiently move trees and other debris from roadways and people’s homes and property so first responders, utility companies and other necessary personal can enter a disaster area.

In early December, when a rare winter tornado struck the central Illinois town of Taylorville, more than 100 structures were damaged with 34 completely destroyed. Debris blocked streets, yards and driveways making them impassable for emergency crews. That night, more than 70 union members with 10 pieces of heavy equipment were on the ground until 3 a.m. helping clear the way so the people of Taylorville could begin recovery. Union members returned at 7 a.m. the next morning to complete the clean-up.

“We don’t just build the roads and buildings in these places,” Schaive said. “We are members of the community and welcome the opportunity to give back.”

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