Steelworkers Deliver Truckloads of Water to Flint

USW Local Union 115 and Alcoa Flint Water DriveThe residents of Flint, Michigan, some Steelworkers – members of Local Unions 690L, are in need right now. Their politicians put families and communities at risk by not investing in failing water infrastructure, resulting in thousands, including many children, being exposed to high levels of lead.

When this tragedy was exposed and Flint’s lawmakers did nothing, the labor movement stepped in. Why? Because that’s what unions do – we help our family, our friends, our neighbors and our communities when they need it.

The Central Area Women of Steel Council in Michigan did just that. Members of 10 USW locals (9899, 12075, 12934, 13702, 1900, 2-585, 9036, 2-540, 1299, 2511) donated enough money to buy more than 300 cases of water, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, disinfecting wipes and other items that went directly to the members of USW Local Union 690L. The council also conducted trainings on how to test products for lead and how to install water filters in homes.

Steelworker neighbors from Local Union 115 and the employees of Alcoa in Lafayette, Indiana, also stepped up. On March 24, a semi-truck was delivered to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, with a second one planned for this week. In those trucks – more than 2200 cases of water that were donated by the members of the local, workers at Alcoa and others in the Lafayette community. Two local Girl Scout troops, Daisy Troop 1437 and Troop 4249, even donated the funds from their annual cookie sale to help buy water.

When asked why this was an important cause to support, the response was simple – because one day, workers in Lafayette may be the ones who need help.

Local Union 115 has 600 members and makes aerospace products, drive shafts and lithium products for Alcoa. Member Jennifer Archer and Vice President Scott Wolendowski worked with Alcoa’s Scott Greeson to organize the water drive and coordinate the delivery.

These are just a few locals out of many in the USW that have donated to help the people of Flint. Others include the members of 2-690L who donated more than 650 cases of water, and 60 leaders of Next Generation, the Steelworkers’ young worker program, who raised more than $1200.

The members of these locals would be great nominees for a USW Cares Jefferson Award, which honors community service. Do you know a Steelworkers or a local doing great things in their neighborhoods? Click here to learn how you can complete a nomination form.

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