The International Brotherhood of Teamsters plans to continue and expand relief efforts for both its own members based in Gulf Coast states who lost homes and jobs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as well as other residents in the region hit by the storm.
Teamsters general president Jim Hoffa met with UPS Teamsters, recently organized casino workers, freight drivers and other members who lost homes and jobs in Gulfport, MS, distributing assistance from the Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund, including $500 debit cards. Hoffa noted his organization also aims to help members in the affected region find work, maintain their health care coverage and get their pension checks.
The 1.4 million-member union is also creating a job-training program to address the immediate employment needs of displaced workers in the region, applying for $19.5 million in emergency training funds from the U.S. Department of Labor to train 3,000 people as commercial vehicle operators.
The union is also sending truckloads of food and goods to Mississippi and Louisiana, with drivers coming from across the country, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Montreal, Boston and New York.
“Our next step is to get workers in this area retrained and get these cities and towns rebuilt,” Hoffa said. “The government must work in partnership with organized labor to get this region working again.”
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