Alton – With the need for financial help for unemployed union families still growing, the Simmons Law Firm has stepped up to offer a major challenge to the labor movement: they are offering a $25,000 matching donation for the $5 for the Fight Fund if donations from working families of the St. Louis/Southern Illinois metro area can match that amount in the next 90 days.
[frame src=”https://labortribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/25000.jpeg” width=”250″ height=”150″ align=”left” style=”2″ linkstyle=”none” title=”A $25,000 MATCH CHALLENGE has been issued to the labor movement by the Simmons Law Firm symbolized by this “contribution challenge” check being presented by Simmons attorney Chris Guinn to St. Louis Labor Council President Bob Soutier. All donations to the $5 for the Fight Fund made within the next 90 days, up to $25,000, will be matched by the Simmons firm. – Labor Tribune photo”]“With the ‘Fight Fund’ running on fumes and the need still growing – as of last week, more than 100 families have actual requests in for help – the potential infusion of $25,000 in funds to be matched by Simmons, providing another $50,000 to help would be an incredible boost to help fellow trade union families,” said Bob Soutier, president, Greater St. Louis Labor Council.
And it does help, greatly.
“The Simmons firm has been a longtime supporter of workers’ rights and unions,” said Mike Angelides, Simmons managing shareholder.” We hope others will be even more motivated to help local union families when they know their donation will go twice as far.”
Last week, Aetna insurance stepped forward and donated $5,000 to the Fight Fund. Lancia Consulting made a $500 donation at the same time.
“The generosity of our labor community is astounding,” Soutier said. “Given the high unemployment we’re still experiencing, that even unemployed members are making donations to help others worse off than they are is a testament to the heart of our union members.”
“We hope this will send a message to the greater business community that it’s to everyone’s benefit for companies to join with the thousands of union members who have already donated to the $5 for the Fight Fund. If they do, it will be possible to help even more unemployed workers with mortgage payments, rent, utilities, medical bills and much more in the coming year,” Soutier added.
“This is something tangible we can do to help union families,” said Simmons attorney Chris Guinn. “We hope this match challenge will help make a difference.” Guinn is the son of a union bricklayer. “There were times when we didn’t have a paycheck in the house cause my dad was out of work, so I know firsthand the kinds of hardships that can create,” he added.
The Simmons firm has a national reputation for fighting for victims of asbestos and mesothelioma related injuries. The have recovered over $4 billion on behalf of victims of asbestos related diseases like mesothelioma. In its support of mesothelioma research and advocate for asbestos awareness, the Simmons firm has over time, donated $250,000 to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. To date, the foundation has funded over $7.1 million in peer-reviewed mesothelioma research. The Simmons firm is the foundation’s top cumulative donor with more than $2 million contributed to its programs.
NEED NEVER STOPS
The $5 for the Fight Fund helps union members in need with everything from utility, rent and mortgage payments to medicine, auto repairs, and other unmanageable or unforeseen expenses.
Since the $5 for the Fight Fund was launched in 1996, St. Louis workers, unions and friends have donated $614,028.33 to help their brothers and sisters in need.
The original $5 for the Fight campaign was launched in 1996 to support striking Machinists District 837 members at McDonnell Douglas. That campaign raised $160,257.96. When the economy went sour in 2008, the Labor Council’s executive board decided to use what was left to support members and their families who had lost their jobs and were on rough times. Another $453,770.37 was raised, bringing the campaign’s total to $614,028.
The unofficial goal of this year’s campaign is to Buck Up for a union brother or sister by bringing the total to an even $1 million.
HOW TO HELP
There are three ways to contribute this year’s campaign:
· Mail: Send your check or money order to $5 for the
Fight Fund, St. Louis Labor Council, 3301 Hollenberg Drive, Bridgeton, MO 63044. Be sure to include your union affiliation.
· Online at www.labortribune.com. Click “$5 for the
Fight Donations to be taken to a secure payment site.
· Recurring credit card donation:
www.labortribune.com, “$5 for the Fight Donations.” Click “Automatic monthly deduction,” the amount and how many months you want the deduction to be made.