The sendoff for relief volunteers at Newark Airport was inspiring to say the least. More than 300 union members from all sectors of the labor movement, including nurses, tradesmen and women, and transport workers, eagerly stepped up to help their fellow Americans in need. We are also proud to recognize United Airlines, which volunteered a 777-300, one of the largest and newest aircraft in its fleet, to airlift this humanitarian relief team to San Juan.
Everyone is playing an essential role, from ALPA and AFA-CWA flight crews to IAM-represented United ramp employees and Port Authority workers. The level of cooperation and compassion has been off the charts. A total of 20 unions from 17 states are part of this mission alone including: AFA-CWA, AFT/HPAE, ALPA, AFSCME, Boilermakers, Cement Masons, CWA, IBEW, IBT, Ironworkers, IUPAT, Machinists, NNU, OPEIU, Operating Engineers, Plumbers/Pipefitters, SEIU, UAW, USW, and Utility Workers.
In addition to providing volunteers, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO secured a donation of 350 pillows and blankets for volunteers on behalf of Cooper University Hospital, which will be among the 35,000 pounds of relief supplies en route to Puerto Rico.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is also proud to recognize the leadership of the national AFL-CIO for coordinating this vital relief mission and making sure that hundreds of skilled volunteers are able to help in Puerto Rico’s recovery. This is what solidarity is all about.