Unions, Safeway raise $40,000 for Navajo Nation
I wanted to inform you all during this COVID-19 pandemic, Arizona Locals have prevailed to help the Navajo Nation.
The Nation has been hit hard during this pandemic, at one point having the most COVID-19 cases per-capita in the United States. With all locals in the state having many Navajo Brothers and Sisters it was clear we could not sit back and await government aid.
The Navajo members reached out to IBEW local 518 which in turn kicked off a productive movement for assistance. With a hard look at what options were available to the local. IBEW Local 518 reached out to the Arizona State Association of Electrical Workers (ASAEW), once this meeting was called, IBEW Local 518 business manager presented the Navajo Relief Efforts concern, to all the IBEW business managers in AZ, which include Inside Locals 518, 640, 570 and Outside Locals 1116, 769, 386 and 266.
With a united effort the ASAEW, heard the call and they prevailed, with a combined effort IBEW Locals of AZ were able to raise $10,500.
As the money was being raised, IBEW local 518 Business Manager reached out to the Navajo Nation and was put in contact with Navajo President Johnathan Nez, as he reached out to his assistants who helped guide IBEW local 518 where to receive help and what was needed for his people. The decision was made to purchase non-perishable food and water for immediate distribution.
Now that Local 518 knew what was needed, the next step was to find out what supermarket could help with this product. With many conversations the decision was made to use Safeway supermarket from Farmington, New Mexico, which was about two hours from location where the Navajo people needed to receive this IBEW donation.
Safeway directors agreed to help and to supply a semi to deliver IBEW donations to Window Rock, Arizona, they also most generously matched half of the IBEW donation to go towards water, thus leaving the entirety of our donation to go towards food goods.
As all this progressed and all the networking done by IBEW local 518, they had reached out to the AFL- CIO who graciously donated with UFCW local 99 of Arizona and raised $25,000, and masks, this was a great help and was unexpected but much appreciated.
All this effort really shows when all our IBEW unions and other unions work for the same common purpose we can always prevail to help our union brothers and sisters when they are in need. With all this help from ASAEW, AFL/CIO of AZ, UFCW, and Safeway Supermarket which are union and represented by UFCW, we were able to raise roughly $40,000 in goods and monetary donations.
IBEW of AZ has prevailed to help our NAVAJO brothers and sisters, therefore this is why we are IBEW, we help our members when they are in need.
Special thanks to IBEW local 640 Organizer Phillip Aguayo, IBEW 640 member Fred Cooke, Benson Bitsui organizer IBEW local 611, Wesley Yazzie IBEW 611 Member, John Babich IBEW 518/ Retired member, IBEW Business manager Domenic Marcanti of Local 518 and IBEW local 518 Organizer John Sorenson for assisting with the delivery. Special thanks to AFL-CIO Director Fred Yamashita.
God Bless our IBEW!