Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hurricane Ike Relief Appeal

As Hurricane Ike roared toward the Texas coast, IAM President Tom Buffenbarger established a task force to assist Machinists Union members impacted by the storm.

Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez, Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr., and Community Services Director Maria Cordone are coordinating the efforts of IAM Grand Lodge Representatives on the ground and staff from several affected District Lodges.

First job for the task force is to account for IAM members in the storm-ravaged areas and help provide access to much-needed resources. As many as 5,000 IAM members in South Texas may have been affected.

“We have a far larger density of IAM members in the South Texas area than we’ve had in past disasters, and we’re working hard to find out the extent of our members’ losses,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “The scale of our task is far larger than Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma combined. We are counting on the generosity of our IAM family to help in this time of need.”Any member who has been impacted by the storm, or has information about other impacted members is asked to contact the Machinists Union at

Contributions of non-perishable food, clothing can be sent to: District 161, 330 Belden Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601 (337) 433-2000. Monetary donations can be sent directly to the “IAM Disaster Relief Fund” in care of the Community Services Department, 9000 Machinists Place, Upper Marlboro, 20772.

“As quickly as these funds are received, they will be distributed directly to IAM families on the basis of need,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger and GST Warren Mart in a letter being mailed to locals and districts. “Fellow members of our union need our help. They need it now. We are confident you will join us in responding to that need.”