Between August 12 and 14, thousands of working families were displaced following severe flooding in Louisiana, including up to 900 Teamster members.
By the time the storm was over, more than four trillion gallons of rain had fallen, setting an all time record high for southeast Louisiana and leaving approximately 20,000 people without food or shelter.
Despite little national news coverage being given to the devastation, the Teamsters Union has been on the ground providing aid to those in need and raising awareness. The IBT has a long tradition of serving on the frontline in times of crisis and helping members affected by natural disasters.
Currently, a number of members of Teamster Locals 5, 270 and members of the BLET and BMWED, have lost their homes and need our help.
Roy Gillespie of the Teamsters Human Rights and Diversity Commissioner, and member of Joint Council 13, is currently on the ground assisting those in need. He is calling on members and locals from across the country to take action and support their brothers and sisters in Louisiana.
“We need your help. Put on your union shirt and take action. Come out and help us dig through the mud. We need water, boots, gloves and dust masks,” said Gillespie. “Really, we just need the support of every Teamster. I encourage members to give their time or donate to the Teamsters Disaster Relief fund. This Labor Day is our chance to show our union pride and provide relief and assistance to Teamsters in need.”
To donate to the fund, follow this link: https://teamster.org/benefits/disaster-relief
In crisis after crisis, from Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Sandy, Gillespie has coordinated the Teamster relief effort alongside the Army, the Red Cross and other agencies. He’s the union’s man on the ground when disasters strike, and with each new disaster, he leads the way to recovery.
“When somebody needs something the Teamsters can do, we make it happen,” Gillespie said. “Every time Teamsters get involved, others realize what we’re capable of. That’s why we’re calling on all Joint Councils, locals and members to take part by taking action.”
Assistance for Those In Need
The Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund is currently offering assistance to members in Louisiana.
If you live in the affected area and experienced a loss due to this FEMA-declared major disaster, please download and submit the forms. For questions, contact the Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund office at (202) 624-8971.
Members living in the following Louisiana parishes are eligible to apply: Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa Vermilion, Washington and West Feliciana. Download the “Request for Help” form here. Be sure to include all requested documentation. The deadline for application is September 30, 2016.