On February 9, members of Local 506 Sandy Brideau and Ronald Benoit presented, on behalf of the national union, to the Red Cross a cheque for $10,000 towards the relief efforts in New Brunswick.
"I am very touched by the support from our great union," said Brideau, president of Local 506. "It feels good to have solidarity from across the country, especially when something like this happens."
More than a week after freezing rain blasted much of the province thousands of New Brunswickers were still without power. The storm affected most residents, with the worst-hit communities along the Acadian peninsula on the northeastern coast. Some residents resorted to heating their homes with barbeques and generators, but this resulted in two deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning and over 34 hospitalizations. The Armed Forces were also called in to assist with clean up so crews could work to restore power to the nearly 200,000 affected homes and businesses.
Unifor has been swift to respond to emergencies such as these through the capacity of the Social Justice Fund and through special collections and donations from regional councils, locals and the National Executive Board. The ice storm relief donation was made after the National Executive Board approved the amount with a unanimous decision.
"Locals in New Brunswick immediately took action to show support for their neighbours," said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director. "Our members are very involved in their communities and it's especially evident during times like these."