December 21, 2007 Volume 108 Number 24

Help extended to storm-ravaged union families on coast

Labor liaisons to the American Red Cross have been sent to Oregon to help union members in coastal communities hit hard by wind storms and flooding earlier this month.

Kirk Patrick, president of the Central Alabama Labor Council, and a member of Machinists Lodge 2452, was one of five union members dispatched to Oregon. Patrick attended the Dec. 11 meeting of the Columbia-Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council to ask union leaders to help the Red Cross identify union members who have been impacted. The storm and subsequent flooding was so severe that Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski declared a state of emergency and prompted FEMA to respond.

Labor liaison caseworkers can help union members (or their family members) determine immediate disaster-related emergency needs. Patrick said. To get help, call the Red Cross hotline at 1-866-GET-INFO. For federal disaster assistance, call the FEMA hotline at 1-800-621-3362.

Patrick said it is unknown how many union members have been impacted, which is one of the reasons he was dispatched to the state. He said service centers also have been set up in Vernonia at Cedar Ridge Camp, 18962 Keasey Road; Astoria/Seaside at Camp Rilea, 91204 Rilea Road; Tillamook at the Oregon Department of Forestry, 5005 3rd St.; and at Clatskanie Middle School, 555 SE Bryant St.

Additionally, some building trades unions have made arrangements with the Salvation Army in Tillamook County to coordinate volunteer efforts to help assess and repair damaged homes and buildings. Electricians are of particular need.

Steve Forester is the contact person for the Salvation Army. He can be reached at 503-812-3067.

Cash donations can be made to the Oregon Trail Chapter of the Red Cross and the Portland Chapter of the Salvation Army.

Let them know that you want your money earmarked for Tillamook County and/or Columbia County disaster relief. The addresses are:

Oregon Trail Red Cross, P.O. Box 3200, Portland, OR, 97208; and Salvation Army, C/O Steve Forester, P.O. Box 806, Tillamook, OR, 97141.

Labor’s Community Service Ag-ency, AFL-CIO, also is accepting cash donations to assist union members. Their address is1125 SE Madison, Suite 103-B, Portland, OR, 97214.