Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Iowa’s Labor Movement Responds to Devastating Wind Storm in Cedar Rapids

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

A wind storm that hit the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, area last week with hurricane-force winds has left tens of thousands of people without shelter and electricityTent cities have popped up in neighborhoods due to widespread damage to the roofs of homes and apartment complexes. The Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO and the Hawkeye Area Labor Council brought together a strong contingent of union members on Saturday to help clear rubble and downed trees, deliver food and water, and perform welfare checks on elder residents in the community. State federation President Charlie Wishman (AFT) and Secretary-Treasurer Peter Hird (IBEW) helped lead Saturday’s event, which was sponsored by a number of elected officials who are former or current union members. The Hawkeye Area Labor Council, the Iowa Federation of Labor, the United Way and Teamsters (IBT) Local 238 are collaborating on a disaster relief effort in the greater Cedar Rapids area, collecting donations of food, water, toiletries, baby supplies, and batteries and flashlights.