Growing number of union families in need of help during pandemic
St. Louis Labor Council President Pat White is calling on working union members to support the United Way as emergency calls for help from union families have reached record levels.
The growing coronavirus pandemic has hit union families hard, White said, especially those employed in the event, entertainment and hospitality industries.
“This year presents a unique challenge for us all. Our members are out-of-work, federal benefits are gone, families are in crisis. We need to be able to help our brothers and sisters like never before,” White said.
“I’m calling on every union member who is working, to please made a special United Way donation so we can help our brothers and sisters who are in dire need.”
Checks should be made payable to the United Way and mailed to the St. Louis Labor Council, 3301 Hollenberg Dr., Bridgeton, MO 63044. They will be submitted to the United Way Campaign via the Labor Engagement Department.
In response to COVID-19 (the disease caused by the coronavirus) and the growing demand for help, the Greater St. Louis United Way has extended this year’s fundraising campaign through Nov. 26 to ensure all who can contribute to the annual fundraising campaign have an opportunity to participate.
The United Way has provide provided much needed financial assistance to hundreds of union families from more than 100 different unions in Missouri and Southern Illinois since last year’s campaign.
This year, the need is greater than ever.
CONSIDER ANOTHER DONATION
“Even if you’ve donated via payroll deduction, if you’re working, we need you to consider a separate donation,” said Mike Louis, retired president of the Missouri AFL-CIO, who is working with the United Way Labor Engagement team in support of the campaign, stepping in the fill the void following the recent death of Jack Martorelli.
“It’s money that will help our brothers and sisters,” Louis said. “Please consider a separate, special gift via this special Labor Engagement Department effort.”
LABOR INTEGRAL TO UNITED WAY
To make sure the voice of the Missouri and Southern Illinois Labor Movement, speaking for its members, is heard and responded to throughout the United Way, Labor representatives are integrated throughout the organization, White said.
White is one of four vice chairs on the United Way Executive Board. He and Machinists District 9 Directing Business Representative Dave Weaver are Labor co-chairs for the 2020 United Way Campaign. There also are 28 Labor leaders on the United Way Board, with 18 of them serving on various United Way committees.
The Labor Engagement Department is a key part of the annual fund drive, coordinating donations to the United Way from unions and individual union members.
The United Way provides support for hundreds of nonprofits across the 16-county bi-state region in Missouri and Illinois.
A UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP
“The St. Louis United Way and its relationship with our unions is unique in the nation,” White stressed, noting that the United Way’s Labor Participation Department has five union members working as full-time Labor Liaisons specifically assigned help union families, something no other United Way has anywhere in the country.
There’s even a special United Way Labor Help Line at 314-539-4189 for union members who need non-work related help.
“We have a seat at the table with the key leadership of our biggest companies and that helps our unions in so many ways,” White added. “That’s why it’s important that our Labor Engagement campaign shows Organized Labor is as committed to the United Way as the United Way is to Organized Labor in our bi-state region. We want to show that Organized Labor is as committed to the United Way as they are to our members.”