Canada’s leading unions show solidarity with Filipino membership, give generously to typhoon relief
Canada’s leading unions are giving generously to support the over 14 million people affected by Typhoon Haiyan – a powerful storm that struck the Philippines on November 8th.
“We applaud Canadian unions for their solidarity and support to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan” said Oxfam Canada’s Executive Director Robert Fox. “Unions represent many Canadians with special ties to the Philippines. They can be very proud of their union’s generosity in this time of need.”
Unifor, Canada's newest labour union, donated $50,000 to Oxfam Canada’s Philippines Typhoon Emergency Fund. "This tragedy is heartbreaking," said National President Jerry Dias. "It has deeply touched the lives of Canadians, particularly those who have family and friends back in the Philippines."
Indeed, many Canadians have ties to the Philippines. As of 2011, Filipinos represent the biggest group of newcomers to Canada, representing 13.1% of immigrants. Highly skilled, they are often found working in the ‘caring industries’. They send $1.5 Billion annually to support their families back home – 10% of the country’s GDP.
To date, CLC Members including Unifor, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), the United Steelworkers (USW), CUPE, the Hospital Employees Union (HEU), the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada (UFCW), the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU), the Saskatchewan Nurses Union, the Manitoba Government and General Employee's Union, the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU), and many others have given more than $350,000 to Oxfam’s appeal.
"Steelworkers are among the thousands of Canadians responding to the urgent appeals for emergency assistance in the wake of the destruction of Haiyan," said Ken Neumann, National Director for Canada of the USW. The Steelworkers Humanity Fund donated $30,000 to the Oxfam Canada response.
The Hospital Employees Union, representing thousands of health care workers, has committed $25,000 to Oxfam’s relief efforts: “The scale of this disaster is beyond comprehension for most of us. But for the many thousands of Hospital Employees’ Union members who have roots and family in the Philippines, this is an especially difficult time.” said President Victor Elkins.
"The destruction and suffering caused by this horrible tragedy require us to come together as a union to show that our strength lies in helping people in need," said Paul Meinema, Presidetnt of the UFCW Canada National Council in announcing a donation of $25,000.
In addition to giving to Oxfam, many unions are also encouraging their members and supporters to donate.
CUPE donated $25,000 and encouraged its 627,000 members to contribute personally as well. “We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, and all Filipinos affected by Typhoon Haiyan,” said Charles Fleury, national secretary-treasurer.
Oxfam Canada’s own union, CUPE Local 2722, donated $10,000 to the organization’s Typhoon relief efforts.
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For more information
Oxfam Canada is accepting donations for Typhoon Haiyan
Oxfam Canada also participates in the Humanitarian Coalition
About the Humanitarian Coalition
The Humanitarian Coalition is a joint appeal mechanism. It is comprised of CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada and Save the Children Canada.
With a combined presence in more than 120 countries, we bring together Canada's leading aid agencies to finance relief efforts in times of international humanitarian crises. We work together to eliminate unnecessary competition, reduce the duplication of fundraising costs, and inform the public on humanitarian needs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. To make a donation for Typhoon Haiyan, go to www.together.ca or call 1-800-464-9154.