Unions help Samoan community in Canberra and Newcastle give Xmas cheer to families back home devastated by the tsunami
Newcastle wharfies donated $2,000 to help the local Samoan community and the Uniting Church ship two containers of clothing and provisions to families devastated by the tsunami last month. While in Canberra the MUA, CFMEU and TWU got together to help the local community and the Canberra Raiders to ship a 40-foot container load out of Sydney.
All three Christmas boxes are now on their way to Samao.
The Uniting Church in Newcastle contacted the union soon after the deadly earthquake-triggered tsunami which hit the islands in September killing an estimated 200 mainly women and children.
They wanted to donate clothing and other goods, but needed the unions help in locating containers and shipping the goods to Samoa.
"We helped them get hold of the containers and a shipper to transport the goods," said MUA branch secretary Jim Boyle. "Our members then raised the money to cover any costs including getting the goods off the docks in Samoa and trucked to where they were most needed. MUA members were happy to help out given the tragedy so many of their families back home had suffered."
In a separate effort the MUA also got together with the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and the Canberra Raiders and Senator Kate Lundy in the ACT to bring relief to Samoan families.
The Canberra community had been collecting donations of money and material to assist in the rebuilding effort.
So the unions stepped in to arrange for a shipping container to transport these donations to be sent to Apia, Samoa before Christmas.
The MUA arranged a 40 foot shipping container and priority access for this important cargo at a very busy time of year, the TWU arranged for trucking the container to Canberra and back to the wharves and the CFMEU, with the help of Senator Kate Lundy and ACTEW, raised enough money cover the costs.