SEIU Canada (Service Employees International Union - Canada)

SEIU Canada (Service Employees International Union - Canada)

October 01, 2009 17:44 ET

SEIU Pledges Emergency Relief for Philippines

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 1, 2009) - The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is urging Canadians to provide emergency relief to ordinary families in the Philippines following massive flooding that has displaced up to 2 million people and killed hundreds.

SEIU Canada said it was rallying support for community-based relief efforts led by Filipino-Canadians to assist their compatriots after the worst flooding in the Philippines in more 40 years.

Canada's fastest-growing union appealed to its 100,000 members to contribute to the relief effort, and pledged to match donations made this month by SEIU members to approved relief agencies.

The grassroots initiative was launched in the wake of reports of hundreds of thousands of families stranded by flooding and mud slides.

"Television images from the Philippines are showing us bodies floating down swollen rivers. But we know that there are many survivors who are waiting desperately for emergency assistance to come," said Rabia Syed, of SEIU Local 1 Canada, which represents more than 46,000 health care and community services workers in Ontario.

Ms. Syed added that it was important to Filipino-Canadians that aid reach families in need.

"We want to make sure that emergency relief does not fall into corrupt hands," she said.

Tropical Storm Ketsana hit the Philippines on Saturday, bringing heavy rains that caused major rivers to burst their banks and submerge villages, towns and cities under mud and water.

The United Nations Children's Fund and the World Food Program are also providing food and other aid.

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