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Spurred by the need for action and inspired by their national union’s $100,000 pledge, CUPE members are mobilizing to help raise money for last month’s brutal tsunami disaster in Asia.

Members, locals and divisions are responding with donations and fundraising drives. Others have invented creative ways to raise funds to help workers who have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods.

CUPE Local 606, representing school board workers in Nanaimo, B.C., for example, is organizing a massive bottle drive to raise money for it’s own relief fund account, to be donated directly to Oxfam Canada.

In Saskatoon, Jose Juarez, a member of CUPE’s national global justice committee, is working with local refugee solidarity groups. Their efforts are aimed at supporting the Canadian Red Cross.

CUPE’s national office donated $100,000 to Oxfam Canada to assist relief efforts. Bill Hynd, president of CUPE Local 2272 representing Oxfam Canada’s staff, encourages other CUPE members to visit www.oxfam.ca for regular updates from the field. Donations can be made directly on the site.

Shocked by the scale of the devastation, CUPE moved quickly to support Oxfam’s efforts to deliver clean drinking water, medical supplies and basic foodstuffs to survivors of the massive tidal wave that destroyed many coastal communities.

Is your local organizing solidarity efforts? Let us know by emailing drobbins@cupe.ca. To see what unions are doing worldwide, check www.labourstart.org/tsunami/.