To all the people that think unions are only looking out for themselves: In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy many volunteer groups were sent to our area to help out with cleanup.
Two in particular were Americorps, which are teens from the ages of 18-24, who have just graduated high school and are leaving home for the first time, and American Rubicon, who are retired military people, young and old.
Local Union #3 took it upon themselves, sacrificing space to house these volunteers. Our union hall looked like a makeshift motel for about 100 people. Many important meetings were switched at the last minute and almost cancelled were some holiday events.
These people slept on cots and were bused to the Rockaways and Staten Island daily for work that included the gutting of people's houses. Supervised by leaders, they excelled in their performance, sometimes being the shoulders to cry on.
They showed me pictures that were never printed in the papers: A stoop of three steps leading to nowhere; the house was completely gone!
No one knows of this lending of space and probably members of the union didn't find out till they left five weeks after. They came from all states in the USA and would even volunteer to help if someone needed something right then.
It sure makes you feel great to know there are people out there to help in crisis.