As the impact of the devastating fires in Maui became known, the ILWU Executive Board, local unions, and rank-and-file members responded immediately to assist to our ILWU family and other workers in Hawaii who have been affected by this tragedy.
Local 142 is the largest local in the ILWU and Maui is home to 5,700 Local 142 members, the highest concentration of ILWU members on any island. 2,700 members work in West Maui, and 1,750 members live in Lahaina.
The extent of the damage is still being evaluated. The fires have destroyed the town of Lahaina and has become the deadliest wildfire in United States history in more than a century.
News of the devastating fires on Maui was being reported as the ILWU International Executive Board was meeting on August 9-11 in Vancouver, British Colombia.
The Executive Board responded immediately to a request for assistance by Local 142 Board Members by unanimously approving a $50,000 donation towards the relief efforts. The donation was matched by Local 142 and the Hawaii Longshore Division.
In addition, ILWU Locals 6, 10, 19, 63-OCU, and ILWU Canada have each pledged $10,000 towards relief efforts. As the Dispatcher was going to press, other ILWU Locals and the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific were scheduling meetings to approve relief donations to assist our ILWU family in Hawaii.
In Southern California. Locals 13, 63, 63-OCU, 65, 94, the IBU, pensioners, and auxiliary filled 13 shipping containers with essential supplies and necessities to assist those impacted by the fires. Containers filled with relief supplies were also organized by Locals 10 in the Bay Area and Locals 19 and 23 in Seattle/Tacoma.
In Hawaii, Local 142 officers, Maui Division BA’s, and the leadership of the Hawaii Longshore Division have been meeting with Local 142 members and other community members displaced by the fires. Local 142’s legal team has been providing advice for filing FEMA applications. They are also providing education to help members identify and resist predators and scammers and are preparing members for aggressive self-advocacy with insurance companies. Local 142’s officers and Maui Division BAs have opened communication lines with members and employers over workers’ employment status and are working to ensure that members’ rights are protected in the coming weeks and months. Local 142’s supply chain team is working with the community to make members and the greater community directly receive needed relief supplies and essential goods.
“I want to thank our ILWU family on the Mainland for their outpouring of support and assistance and for the work of the Local 142 leadership, and rank-and-file members who are organizing relief efforts and helping to protect the rights and interests of the people on Maui displaced by the fires,” said ILWU International Vice President (Hawaii) Sam Kreutz. “Looking out for one another is what we do as union members.”
Local 142 has established the Kōkua Maui Fund through the ILWU Credit Union to donate to the relief efforts.
Donations can be made to Local 142’s Kōkua Maui Fund using the following channels through the ILWU Credit Union:
- In Branch: ILWU Credit Union members can deposit cash or transfer money from their ILWU Credit Union account to the relief fund over the counter at the branch;
- By Phone: ILWU Credit Union members can contact the Credit Union toll-free at 866-445-9828 and transfer funds from their Credit Union account to donate to the relief fund;
- By Check: Anyone can donate by check made out to “ILWUCU – Kōkua Maui Fund” and dropped off or mailed to any ILWU Credit Union Branch;
- Online: Anyone can donate by credit or debit card on the ILWU Credit Union website at https://www.ilwucu.org/donate.
“We are heartbroken to see the devastation in Maui,” said ILWU International President Willie Adams. Helping any worker in distress is a core value of this union, and the membership immediately stepped up to provide financial and material support to our family in Hawaii. We will continue to work with the leadership of Local 142 to support the ongoing relief and rebuilding efforts.”