Lac-Mégantic QC- The United Steelworkers (USW) has contributed $125,800 to recovery efforts in the devastated community of Lac-Mégantic, the largest donation ever made by the union in Quebec.
The USW contribution was presented to the Red Cross in Lac-Mégantic by an emotional Daniel Roy, the Steelworkers’ Quebec Director.
“Like all Quebeckers, we were deeply affected by this tragedy which took the lives of dozens of people, many in the prime of their lives, and which decimated the community’s historic downtown,” Roy said.
“One of the victims was a Steelworkers member and two more of our members lost their spouses. This tragedy also is especially difficult for our members who work at MMA and who witnessed the horror first-hand. We rallied together these past few days in an effort to help the victims of this devastating event.”
The $125,800 contribution came from funds donated by Steelworkers local unions in Quebec, as well as the Steelworkers Humanity Fund and other USW sources.
The Steelworkers Humanity Fund, which is supported by USW members across the country, provided $25,000. The USW international union contributed $30,000 and the union representing Steelworkers staff donated $10,000.
The USW represents approximately 5,000 workers in the rail industry in Canada, including 75 employees of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA), which owned the train that exploded in Lac-Mégantic.
“The Steelworkers family is in mourning,” Roy said. “One of our members, who was employed by Portes Lambton, is among the victims, along with his spouse. The spouse of another of our members at Portes Lambton, who worked at Musi-Café, also lost her life.”
The USW represents workers at Portes Lambton, a door manufacturer near the community of Lac-Mégantic.
The Steelworkers Humanity Fund supports development projects and emergency aid in developing countries around the world, and assists Canadian communities in crisis. Steelworkers members contribute to the fund through clauses negotiated into their collective agreements.