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Relief Package Leaves Port for Samoa Islands

Effort led by ILWU Local 13 garners support from Port, others

October 14, 2009

Fifteen shipping containers packed with dry foods, medicine, blankets and other essentials were loaded onto a ship at the Port of Long Beach today, October 14, and bound for victims in tsunami-stricken Samoa Islands.

The effort was led by International Longshore & Warehouse Union Local 13 members and supported with in-kind donations from the Port of Long Beach, terminal operator International Transportation Service (ITS), and shipping lines Hamburg Sud and Polynesia Line. Union members donated their time to load the containers and the Port and its customers waived related fees.

A magnitude 8.0 earthquake, which struck near the Samoa Islands on September 29th, and the resulting tsunami killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands. Local Samoan Americans, many of them ILWU members, began grassroots efforts to gather donations, ILWU officials said. Most items were collected locally, they said, but some donations came from as far as Utah and Texas.

The containers, 10 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) and 5 Forty-Foot Equivalent Units (FEUs), were loaded onto the ship Cap Tapaga, which services the Hamburg Sud and Polynesia Line shipping lines.

A local delegation of Samoan community members will travel to the Samoa Islands to intercept the containers and distribute the donations to tsunami victims.

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