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IBB seeks donations as wildfires ravage Alberta

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Fort McMurray residents evacuating along Highway 63 as the fire encroaches on the area. DarrenRD/Wikipedia

Union supports Canadian Red Cross, disaster relief fund

THE INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD of Boilermakers is appealing to members across North America to contribute to relief funds in response to the devastating northern Alberta wildfire that has ravaged the city of Fort McMurray and much of the surrounding area.

More than 80,000 people were forced to evacuate the community, and thousands of oil sands workers were forced to leave the area as refineries shut down as a precaution.

The fire, which began May 3, was still burning in the Fort McMurray area as of June 8. It has destroyed more than 2,400 homes and other buildings and has resulted in a 25 percent decrease in Canadian crude output.

International Vice President Joe Maloney said the Boilermaker construction lodges in Canada have collectively contributed $150,000 to the Canadian Red Cross, with $10,000 donated by the Boilermaker Contractors’ Association (BCA). The International in Canada has also given $10,000.

“This tragedy has united the trades across Canada, as well as many other people in this country and around the world,” he said. “Everybody who has been involved in responding to this disaster deserves a great big thank you.”

The Province of Alberta and the Canadian federal government each have pledged to match all amounts donated to the Red Cross in response to the wildfire, he said.

International Secretary-Treasurer Bill Creeden has announced a general appeal to members for donations to the Boilermakers’ Disaster Relief Fund.

Make checks payable and send to:

Boilermakers’ Disaster Relief Fund/Wildfire
c/o IST William T. Creeden
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
753 State Ave., Suite 570
Kansas City, KS 66101

Questions? Call International Headquarters at 913-371-2640.

Local 146 BM-ST Dean Milton said that more than 40 L-146 members live in Fort McMurray and that the homes of at least two members have been confirmed destroyed. He said 1,500 to 2,000 Boilermakers, including travelers, were forced out of their shutdown work and new construction projects as a result of the fire.

“People have returned to work, but we have a long road, ahead,” Milton noted. “Some of the neighborhoods with intact structures are still not open for people to move back.”

Reporter  V55N2
Published on the Web: May 9, 2016

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