Disaster Relief Fund Provides Relief To Teamsters Affected By Hurricane Katrina

(Gulfport, Mississippi) – Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa pledged continued Teamster support and assistance today to members whose homes, jobs and lives were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Hoffa also outlined plans to help the region and its residents recover from the tragedy.

“Our union is at its best when we pull together during times of crisis, because that is the true strength of the Teamsters,” Hoffa said. “Our members who are in dire need of food, shelter, money and other supplies can count on their Teamster brothers and sisters as they struggle to rebuild their lives.”

Hoffa, in Gulfport, Miss., met with UPS Teamsters, recently organized casino workers, freight drivers and other Teamsters whose homes and jobs have been destroyed, distributing assistance from the Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund, including $500 debit cards.

The Teamsters Union has created a job training program to address the immediate employment needs of displaced workers in the region struggling to get back on their feet. The union has applied for $19.5 million in emergency training funds from the U.S. Department of Labor to train 3,000 people as commercial vehicle operators.

The union also is sending truckloads of food and goods to Mississippi and Louisiana, with drivers coming from across the country, including Los Angeles, Oregon, Chicago, Montreal, Boston and New York. The Teamsters are helping members find work, maintain their health care coverage and get their pension checks.

“Our next step is to get workers in this area retrained and get these cities and towns rebuilt,” Hoffa said. “The government must work in partnership with organized labor to get this region working again.”

Media Contact: Leigh Strope – (202) 624-6877