The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Approaches the $2 Million Mark in its Disaster Relief Fund Created for its Members on the Gulf Coast
Also Forming a National Job Bank, Supply Caravans for its Members in Need
WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- In the weeks leading up to Labor Day 2005, all discussions of organized labor revolved around its internal strife coupled with the speculation that it is quickly losing relevance in today's workplace. Yet, when faced with the catastrophe Hurricane Katrina brought to the Gulf Coast, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) quickly showed its members and the rest of the world just want kind of difference a union can make for its members. In the days following the flooding of New Orleans and elsewhere, the IUPAT announced the creation of the Finishing Industries Disaster Relief Fund to assist its over 1,400 members displaced by the storm and high waters. The first order of business by IUPAT leadership was to authorize a $1 million donation to the fund and call on its over 140,000 members to make a donation via its website and local union halls. IUPAT district councils, the union's regional headquarters in the U.S. and Canada, are moving quickly to assist their union brothers and sisters in the south. In fact, it was announced yesterday that District Council 21 in Philadelphia was making a gift of over $100,000 to the fund. Other such pledges and membership donations, even from retired members, are quickly growing the fund and it is now approaching the $2 million mark. "Frankly, I'm not surprised that we're getting such a response by our members," said IUPAT General President James Williams. "What has happened on the Gulf Coast is an unprecedented disaster and our people are facing not just the loss of work and a livelihood, but their homes as well. What you're seeing is the union difference. This kind of support is what it means to be in a union." And it's just not the union members of the IUPAT who are digging deep into their pockets for this cause, the union's employers started a sister relief fund. The Finishing Contractors Association, an organization representing many of the IUPAT employers, has pledged to raise $2 million from its membership and it is well on its way to reaching that goal. It will assist not only IUPAT members but the many contractors who have been affected by this disaster as well. In addition to the relief funds, the IUPAT and the FCA are working together to create a national job bank for IUPAT members as well as provide shelter for those who must travel to work in these news jobs. For more information visit http://www.IUPAT.org and http://www.FinishingContractors.org. The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades represents over 140,000 men and women in North America. Our trades include commercial and residential painting, glazing, drywall finishing and floor covering. CONTACT: Gavin McDonald PHONE: 202-637-0707 202-351-8547 (mobile)
SOURCE International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
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