International Longshoremen’s Association; Atlantic Coast District and South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District Kick-Off Fund Raising Drive To Aid Families Affected By Flint, Michigan Water Crisis
NORTH BERGEN, NJ (Feb. 4, 2016) – The International Longshoremen’s Association and its two Districts—the Atlantic Coast District and South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District—have each made initial donations of $5,000.00 to aid The Flint Child Health and Development Fund, a charity that will help the children of Flint, Michigan and other residents who may have been exposed to lead poisoning from drinking tainted water.
In mid-January, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder finally conceded in an interview in the Detroit Free Press that he made mistakes in his handling of the Flint water crisis. At the same time, ILA International President Harold J. Daggett charged that “the time for excuses is over and the time for action is now.” The ILA leader called on his International Vice President and resident of Michigan, William Yockey, along with ILA International General Organizer John D. Baker of Cleveland, Ohio to identify how best the ILA could help the residents of Flint, Michigan.
At first, the ILA wanted to help ship clean drinking water to Flint but was informed last week that the city had all water donations it could properly handle and store.
Brothers Yockey and Baker found the Flint Child Health and Development Fund, a charitable organization charged with ensuring long-term change for the better in response to the Flint water crisis. The organization said: “The needs of Flint children, particularly those most vulnerable—children ages 0-6—are ongoing and long term.”
The ILA has been assured that the Flint Child Health and Development Fund will use donations for critical interventions today and well into the future.
ILA President Daggett has sent an appeal letter to all ILA locals and the ILA membership asking them to support the Flint Child Health and Development Fund. Donations should be made payable to Community Foundation of Greater Flint and sent to ILA headquarters at International Longshoremen’s Association, Department MF, 5000 West Side Avenue, North Bergen, NJ 07047. For additional information, contact Maria Fong at ILA at 212-425-1200, ext. 303.
The ILA will deliver donations to the Flint charity.
“We are grateful the ILA, the Atlantic Coast District and the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District was able to generate $15,000.00 in initial contributions for the citizens of Flint, Michigan,” said President Daggett. “Flint is a historic and powerful union city and Michigan represents the State where our ILA was founded in 1892.
“Our ILA locals and membership have always demonstrated incredible generosity and service to those in need and I am certain they will now answer the call for the men, women and especially the children of Flint, Michigan,” Daggett added. “I thank ILA General Organizer John Baker and Vice President Bill Yockey for their work on behalf of the citizens of Flint.”
Michael J. Vigneron, President, Atlantic Coast District and Alan Robb, President, South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District, echoed ILA President Daggett’s praise of ILA members’ generosity. “We’re honored to join the ILA in this most worthy fund raising effort and urge all ILA locals and members to pitch in,” they said.
The ILA represents 65,000 waterfront workers at ports on the East and Gulf Coast from Maine to Texas; U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes ports; major U.S. Rivers; Eastern Canada and Puerto Rico. Additional information about the Flint Child Health and Development Fund can be found at www.flintkids.org.