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International Unions Reach Out to Japan Quake Survivors

Global unions are reaching out to Japanese workers and their families following the massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan, likely claimed more than 10,000 lives and left half a million people homeless.

In a statement, David Cockroft, general secretary of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), said:

The people of Japan are well prepared for these events but the sheer size of this one could have overwhelmed all preparations. Thankfully there has been great bravery shown in saving lives, and maybe we can allow ourselves to feel some pride that transport workers have figured widely in reports of passengers being safely evacuated from trains, and cared for at the affected airports. The news of our members in the seaports is likely to be grimmer.

Click here to read Cockroft’s letter to ITF affiliates.

You can send a message of support and solidarity here and click here to see other messages from workers around the world. Updates from Japanese trade unions the quake and tsunami areas are available here.

Right now, MoveOn reports that many organizations are already on the ground providing relief, including Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross. You can provide immediate assistance by donating to help fund the emergency response:

  • Doctors Without Borders is sending highly trained teams of doctors into the hardest-hit and most difficult-to-reach regions of Japan. (Note: Doctors Without Borders is not accepting contributions “earmarked” for Japan, but rather drawing from general support to enable their important response work there.) Donate here.
  • The Red Cross operates 92 hospitals in Japan and has deployed 700 medical relief volunteers across the country already. Donate here.

We will keep you updated on relief efforts and how you can help.

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