Bushfires in Queensland. Credits: 80 trading 24/Wikipedia
Bushfires in Queensland. Credits: 80 trading 24/Wikipedia

Australia: trade unions mobilise in the national bushfire crisis

published 9 January 2020 updated 14 January 2020

Education International commends the Australian Council of Trade Unions for its prompt reaction to help communities affected by the raging bushfires and its call for donation and/or volunteering.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions is the representative body for 46 affiliated unions who represent about 2 million Australian workers and their families. Education International’s national member organisations (the Australian Education Union, the Independent Education Union of Australia, and the National Tertiary Education Union) are among its affiliates.

Call for donations and volunteering

The Australian Council of Trade Unions’ Bushfire Relief Fund has been established to provide support to union members who have lost their homes or incomes in the 2019-2020 bushfires and may need support beyond that available generally.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions also calls for donations to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal or the Red Cross. Volunteers are also needed to help the relief effort with work such as helping to build fences, cooking and serving food, or driving buses or trucks.

“We have been monitoring the situation in Australia closely and it is simply heart-breaking on so many levels: great loss of life, hundreds of millions of animals killed, thousands of homes burned, massive areas incinerated,” stated Education International’s General Secretary David Edwards. He went on to highlight that climate change denial and a wholly irresponsible government have clearly played a terrible role in this crisis.

“We are in full solidarity with the many Australians who have lost loved ones, have seen their homes destroyed, and are experiencing significant dislocation and uncertainty. We stand in solidarity with the Australian trade union movement in their effort to support affected communities,” Edwards concluded.

Please consider donating or volunteering for the relief effort.