In recent weeks the water crisis in Flint, Michigan has made national and world headlines. While the water contamination has finally come to light the long term effects may not be fully realized for many years.
At one time eastern Michigan was a vibrant community built on automotive production. It was in so many ways the heartbeat of Labor for decades. Flint/Detroit are now a skeleton of what they once were thanks to trade agreements and jobs leaving the country. This blow to an already devastated community is too much to bear alone. Unions in WNY have found a way to make a practical contribution while also sending a message to residents of Flint that we stand with them in solidarity at this critical time.
The AFL-CIO in WNY is organizing a water drive for Flint. The teamsters are volunteering to deliver the water we collect. People are of course asking “Would it be easier to send money?” Unfortunately, bottled water is often processed locally. Unsafe levels of lead have also been found in bottled water sold in the community. The water being delivered will be marked with stickers indicating what region of the country it came from. Residents can know the water their families are drinking is safe.
WNY Area Labor Federation is collecting WATER DONATIONS for Flint until March 12.
Donations need to be dropped off at the Teamsters Local 264 located at 35 Tyrol Dr., Cheektowaga, NY, 14227. Please call Darrin at the Teamsters on his cell, 716-341-0502, to schedule a drop off time. Darrin is very flexible in scheduling and prefers evenings and weekends. He needs to be sure someone is there to load water into the truck.
Money is also being collected to buy water filters that can be installed on faucets. Organizers ask that people not buy filters personally to donate because a significant discount has been negotiated with a manufacturer to provide residents with lifesaving water filters. If you would like to contribute to water filters, please make checks payable to WNY Area Labor Federation. Checks can be mailed to CWA 1122, 3775 Genesee St., Buffalo, NY 14225
Water and checks may also be dropped off at CWA 1168, if done so by March 11. We can deliver to the Teamsters, if you are unable to deliver the water to Cheektowaga. Please call the Local with any other questions.