Canadian Steelworkers Respond to Tragedy in Haiti

USW Offers Support, Solidarity after Devastating Quake

TORONTO, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers union is providing immediate financial aid, extending condolences and pledging future support to the people of Haiti following the tragic earthquake in the Caribbean country.

"On behalf of our international officers, leaders and our 1.2 million active and retired members, I send sincere condolences to the people of Haiti," said Leo W. Gerard, USW International President.

"We have all been deeply touched by the tragic loss of life and devastating damage to property. We know the loss and pain cannot truly be measured," Gerard said.

Gerard and Ken Neumann, the USW's National Director for Canada, announced an immediate donation of $20,000 from the Steelworkers Humanity Fund to assist with emergency aid in Haiti.

"The unimaginable grief and desperation inflicted on the people of Haiti by this earthquake is precisely the kind of tragedy for which the Steelworkers Humanity Fund was created," said Neumann.

"We extend our sincere sympathies to the Haitian people and we pledge future support to help them cope with this catastrophe."

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund was created by the USW in Canada in 1985 to address hunger and poverty, primarily in the developing world, through development assistance and emergency aid. Steelworkers members contribute to the fund through clauses negotiated into collective agreements and in many cases matching contributions from employers also have been negotiated.

"Many of our sisters and brothers who live and work in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean have friends and relatives from Haiti," Gerard said. "Our hearts and thoughts are with them during these trying moments.

"It's times like these that we are reminded that regardless of the bloodline that runs through our veins, or the address of the place we call home, we are all family connected by our common humanity."

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: For further information: Canada: Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, (416) 487-1571; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, (416) 544-5966, (416) 434-2221,; U.S.: Connie Mabin, USW Communications, (412) 562-2616

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