I’m writing to correct the misinformation in Frank Teras’ letter Wednesday (“Union benefits from gifts meant for FairPoint workers”) about the relief fund for striking members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Communications Workers of America.

The Solidarity Fund is a relief fund set up to help striking workers and their families all over Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont deal with financial hardships. Money from the relief fund will not go into any local union’s general fund. It’s only to aid striking workers.

In Maine, we have a committee of rank-and-file members who administer the fund. So far, we have distributed nearly $80,000 to help members pay for heating oil, health care, and housing and car payments.

To receive aid, applicants must be members in good standing who are fulfilling their picket duty and must submit an application explaining why they need help. No applicant meeting the criteria has been denied aid.

While the national IBEW sent a check for $100 to every striking member the week before Christmas, that was wholly separate from the IBEW-CWA Solidarity Fund.

To the individuals and organizations from all over the world who have contributed to the fund, we say “thank you” for your kindness and generosity and for standing with us.

Julie Dawkins

IBEW Local 2327 member

chair, Solidarity Fund Committee in Maine

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