NEW YORK, September 2 – International President Thomas C. Short has created a special fund to provide assistance to I.A.T.S.E. members and their families who are suffering serious financial hardship as a result of the devastation from hurricane Katrina and its cruel aftermath.
The I.A.T.S.E. has agreed to donate $10,000 to the special fund established by the Walsh/DiTolla/Spivak Foundation.”Many I.A.T.S.E. members have suffered tremendous losses and have been forced to evacuate their homes,” said International President Short. “Others have lost their jobs and will suffer from the resulting economic impact on their communities. Some may face unexpected medical bills or need to provide housing or other assistance to relatives who have suffered losses. It is our hope that financial assistance from the Foundation will help to enable these members and their families to get back on their feet in the aftermath of this tragedy.”
To further help I.A.T.S.E members suffering financially from Katrina, the IATSE National Benefit Funds’ trustees voted in favor of an amendment to the rules of the Annuity Fund which will enable fund participants in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to take a hardship withdrawal without penalty. The trustees in the Health & Welfare fund also voted for that fund to incur the costs of participants in those states who are responsible for a co-pay on their health care benefits.
The union trustees, in addition to President Short, are James B. Wood, Matthew D. Loeb, Brian J. Lawlor, Daniel E. Di Tolla, Deborah A. Reid, Peter Fitzpatrick, and John V. McNamee, Jr. The employer trustees are Irving W. Cheskin, Jeffrey Ruthizer, Harriett Slaughter, Seth Popper, Carol Lombardini, Dean Ferris, Steve Rappaport, and Howard Wilenski.
International President Short asks Local Unions, members and friends of the I.A.T.S.E. community to contribute what they can. Checks should be made payable to the “Walsh/DiTolla/Spivak Foundation” with a notation indicating “Hurricane Katrina Fund” and be mailed to the Walsh/DiTolla/Spivak Foundation, c/o I.A.T.S.E., 1430 Broadway, 20th Floor, New York, NY, 10018.