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Class Is, unions pledge donations to aid earthquake-ravaged nation


A number of Class Is and rail labor unions are making donations or encouraging employees and members to do so to help earthquake-ravaged Haiti. On Jan. 12, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean nation, collapsing buildings and causing an estimated 200,000 fatalities.

CN announced it will donate $100,000 to the Red Cross to support relief efforts and match employee donations dollar for dollar.

“We are reaching out — and encouraging our employees — to help the Red Cross address some of the immense human suffering caused by this natural disaster,” said CN President and Chief Executive Officer Claude Mongeau in a prepared statement.

Canadian Pacific also will match workers’ donations through an employee match program, as well as donate $50,000 to the Red Cross and Save the Children Funds.

“We are all aware that these are difficult economic times, but we also know that the situation in Haiti transcends fiscal consideration; it requires swift and comprehensive action,” said CP President and CEO Fred Green in a note to employees. “Simply put, this is the right thing to do.”

Meanwhile, the Norfolk Southern Foundation will provide a dollar-for-dollar match for active Norfolk Southern Railway employees’ contributions of at least $25 made by June 30 to certain international aid organizations, such as the American Red Cross/International Response Fund, CARE and Salvation Army. In addition, NS will donate intermodal transportation for 10 containers (each holding up to 43,000 pounds) of relief supplies.

Union Pacific Railroad also will provide a dollar-for-dollar match for active employees’ donations to the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Catholic Relief Services, Salvation Army, Save the Children, and University of Nebraska Medical Center's Haitian Relief and Outreach Fund. CSX Corp. will match employees’ donations, too, and is determining whether to make other contributions, while Kansas City Southern is "considering the best way to make sure our contributions are used for humanitarian relief," said spokesperson Doniele Kane in an email.

Labor unions are trying to pitch in, as well. The United Transportation Union (UTU) will donate $1,000 to the American Red Cross in the name of members of Haitian descent.

“This is a small humanitarian gesture, and I hope others within our union donate what they are able to,” said UTU International President Mike Futhey in an item posted on the union’s Web site.

At the Transportation Communications Union, leaders are encouraging members to make donations to Partners in Health, Doctors Without Borders, the American Red cross International Response Fund, RN Response Network or United Way Worldwide Disaster Fund.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/19/2010