NORTH BERGEN, NJ – (September 19, 2019) The International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO donated $50,000 from its ILA Disaster Relief Fund to an ILA Bahamas Relief Fund campaign that is collecting materials and equipment to help Bahamas recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Dorian that destroyed much of the islands in early September.
International Vice President Kenneth Riley, who has been working closely with dock workers in the Port of Freeport and other Bahama port areas of over the past several years with organizing drives, is coordinating this fundraising effort, along with Johnnie Dixon, Financial Secretary from ILA Local 1526 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“When I asked my friends in the Bahamas what they needed, they told me, ‘Walk into your house – everything you see in your home like furniture, lights, food, clothing – that’s what we need,’” related Vice President Riley. “They told me everything they owned is under water.”
Brother Dixon from Local 1526 is arranging with ILA companies to secure container space so that donated items like generators, water and other supplies can be shipped to the Bahamas. The local will purchase additional needed items from donations it receives to supplement the supplies it will send to the Bahamas. The local also hopes to make financial contributions to dockers and their families in the Port of Freeport.
Recent statistics indicated that more than 1,000 people are still missing and unaccounted for in the Bahamas and more than 2,000 are living in shelters. Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas for days in early September
ILA’s Local 1526 Hurricane Relief Fund is accepting donations: Contributions to this fund can be made payable to ILA Local 1526, with a notation on the check for “Hurricane Dorian Relief Fund” and mailed to ILA Local 1526, 440 NW Sixth Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 (attn: Johnnie Dixon, Financial Secretary).