UMWA donates to Hurricane Sandy victims

THE country’s largest industry union, the United Mine Workers of America, has contributed $US10,000 in disaster relief funds to those hardest hit by super storm Sandy.

Donna Schmidt

UMWA officials said a $5000 donation would go to the American Red Cross, with another $5000 donation made to the Mountaineer Food Bank.

The latter provides assistance to food banks in the particularly hard-hit areas of West Virginia, the heart of Appalachia where many of its members live and work.

"The images of devastation all across the eastern United States are heartbreaking," president Cecil Roberts said.

"Millions of people have lost everything they have. Millions more remain without power.”

The UMWA also spotlighted the efforts of its “brother and sister” groups, such as first responders, police, firefighters, EMTs and other state and municipal workers.

“Even though our membership is far removed from the Atlantic coast, we wanted to do something to help.

“The overwhelming snowfall in the mountains of West Virginia caused severe and lasting power outages for tens of thousands closer to the coalfields, including many of our own members. For those who can't get to work, or are retired on fixed incomes and who have lost all their perishable food, local food banks are a critical lifeline.”

Roberts said that in addition to the union’s donation, it was encouraging its members to donate financially, via a blood donation of in any other way.

“I urge everyone to take a few moments to do their part,” he said. “Someday, it may be your turn to need this kind of help.”

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