Despite the impact of one of the worse recessions in U.S. history, union members continue to generously support efforts to help survivors of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. You can take action now to help the Haitian survivors by clicking on the AFL-CIO Haitian Disaster Relief site here.

The UAW yesterday announced it is donating $500,000 to the William J. Clinton Foundation to help victims of the earthquake. Says UAW President Ron Gettelfinger:

The people of Haiti desperately need food, water, medical care and hope. The women and men of the UAW stand with thousands of other organizations and ordinary citizens in their desire to help the Haitian people meet their basic human needs.

Former President Bill Clinton, the U.N.’s special envoy to Haiti, said Haiti needs our short-term and long-term support.

I still believe that Haiti can move beyond its troubled history and this lethal earthquake to emerge a stronger, more secure nation. But we can’t do it with government support alone: Ordinary citizens must fill in the gaps. Little donations make a big difference, and there are a number of organizations that will move the money to where it’s needed most.

If you want to donate to the Clinton Foundation’s Haiti Relief Fund, text “HAITI” to “20222″ or visit the foundation’s website here.

In other recent actions:

  • The Transport Workers Union has formed a disaster relief task force to enable the union to act immediately to help Haiti and stay for the long run. The Miami-based task force will be headed by Georges Exceus, a TWU organizer. The group has already started coordination and distribution plans for getting donations to Haiti and those in need. You can send donations to: TWU of America, 5705 NW 38 St., Miami, FL 33166.
  • A dozen nurses, paramedics and emergency medical technicians, who are members of the AFT-affiliated Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (VFNHP), as well as doctors and an AFT national representative, left for Haiti yesterday to help provide medical assistance for the victims. Members of the medical team work at Fletcher Allen Health Care, an alliance of the University of Vermont’s medical and nursing schools. More than 75 members of the VFNHP have volunteered to be part of the medical relief effort.
  • The Air Traffic Controllers (NATCA) is working with the Dominican Air Traffic Controllers Association (ADCA) to get supplies to Haitian controllers and their families. NATCA will use some money from its disaster relief fund to coordinate the purchase of supplies through ADCA to fly to Haiti.  Members can send donations to the NATCA relief fund via PayPal, and include this e-mail address when making your donation: Or you can send a check payable to “NATCA relief” to: NATCA Relief, 1325 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20005.
  • The United Transportation Union (UTU) is giving $1,000 to the American Red Cross in the name of UTU members of Haitian descent.
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) is sending five ships to assist with relief efforts in Haiti. All are owned or controlled by MARAD and will be crewed by civilian U.S. merchant mariners. The crews are made up of members of the Seafarers (SIU), Masters, Mates and Pilots (MMP) and Marine Engineers’  Beneficial Association (MEBA), an affiliate of the Longshoremen (ILA). Also, the U.S. Navy hospital ship, the Comfort with an SIU crew, has reached Haiti, and the ship’s medical staff is treating injured Haitians.