Wildfires ripped across the Hawaiian island of Maui last week, killing at least 96 people and displacing thousands. While the fires have yet to be extinguished, the disaster is already the deadliest fire incident in the United States since 1918.
Although heartbroken by the devastation, the Labor community is not stunned into silence. Already, Labor leaders from across not just Hawaii but the world are engaged in disaster assistance and relief efforts. As the state with the highest levels of union density, union members from a wide variety of trades and professions have been and will continue to be impacted by the devastation.
The Hawaii State AFL-CIO has activated their Emergency Assistance Program and is presently identifying the needs of affected rank and file members. The AFL-CIO Union Community Fund is actively seeking donations to aid in their disaster relief.
America’s maritime workers are also doing their part, loading up and crewing Jones Act-compliant vessels with supplies. Thanks to the dedicated routes of service provided by the Act, those supplies will be making their way to affected Hawaiians post haste.
The full extent of the devastation won’t be known until the fires are quenched, but the need for a rapid response is unambiguous. The MTD stands in solidarity with those affected, and will provide timely updates on additional relief efforts put together by our affiliates and Port Maritime Councils.