·  Media Release   ·  

Steelworkers Humanity Fund Contributes $7,000 to Support Communities Affected by Volcano in the Philippines

OTTAWA – The Steelworkers Humanity Fund (SHF) is contributing $7,000 to support those affected by the Jan. 12 eruption of the Taal Volcano, south of the capital Manila, in the Philippines.

After 43 years of inactivity, the volcano’s spectacular eruption required the immediate evacuation of thousands of families from the surrounding areas. In total, 137,000 people received shelter in 300 evacuation centres.

Hearing about the news, members from United Steelworkers (USW) Local 8327 at Park Place Retirement Home in Ottawa approached the SHF to support victims, many of the local union members being of Filipino heritage. Thanks to their initiative, on Friday, Feb. 7, Unit Chair Jarmaine Canares-Aguilando, accompanied by District 6 (Ontario) USW staff representative Dave Lipton, presented a cheque to Oxfam Canada, in charge of channelling the relief funds.

The SHF support will be used to provide clean water, sanitation and health care supplies to the displaced populations until they can safely return home. Food security, livelihood support and the promotion of hygiene will be made key throughout the process, using a gender analysis to ensure women and children are safe in the midst of a very chaotic situation.

“It is heartwarming to see Steelworkers members making use of the Humanity Fund – their fund – to contribute to causes that they care deeply about, making USW solidarity go global,” said Ken Neumann President of the SHF and USW National Director.

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund (SHF) is a registered charitable organization that promotes respect for human rights and contributes to development projects and emergency aid in developing countries, as well as supporting Canadian communities in crisis. United Steelworkers members contribute to the fund through clauses negotiated into collective agreements. In some cases employers make matching contributions.

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For further information:

Ken Neumann, President, Steelworkers Humanity Fund, 416-544-5951
Doug Olthuis, Executive Director, Steelworkers Humanity Fund, 416-859-9953, dolthuis@usw.ca
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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