The Australian Council of Trade Unions has today expressed its sadness and condolences at the tragic loss of more than 100 lives in the bushfires that swept Victoria over the weekend.
The ACTU and its affiliates have today pledged at least $250,000 to the national appeal for the victims of the bushfires, and called on Australia’s 2 million union members and their families to dig deep.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow said union leaders this morning had decided to make the donation to the national appeal being co-ordinated by the Australian Red Cross.
“We are shocked at the immense human loss and level of devastation inflicted by these bushfires,” Ms Burrow said.
“The thoughts of the entire union movement goes out to the victims at this time.
“These include union members and their families who have lost their lives, and those whose livelihoods have been devastated.”
Ms Burrow said unions stood ready to support members, including emergency service personnel involved in fighting the fires, the healthcare and government workers caring for the many thousands of people affected, the media workers who are covering the events as they are unfolding, and countless others caught up in this horror.
“We are asking our members to donate to the Red Cross Appeal by calling 1800 811 700 to make a credit card donation or log onto www.redcross.org.au,” Ms Burrow said.
“We are encouraging union members to take up a collection in their workplace and for employers to match whatever is raised.
“Union members who know of a colleague or relative experiencing hardship because of the bushfires should contact Unions Australia on 1300 4 UNION, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, so that support can be arranged.
“A special page has been set up on the ACTU website at www.actu.org.au/bushfireappeal to provide up to date information about unions’ support for bushfire victims.”