CFMEU in the Community
The CFMEU WA is a proud contributor to community and member causes.
When you are a part of the CFMEU you are a part of a larger family that helps its own in times of need. The CFMEU has a proud tradition of chipping in with donations from worksites to help members and their families who experience tough and challenging times due to illness, accidents and deaths.
Manna Industries in Lindsay Street Perth, is a registered charity that was started by Bev Lowe and her husband John over 10 years ago, initially providing meals made in the small kitchen of their own home for the destitute people of Perth, including any children. As word spread of Bev and John's magnificent work, so did the demand for their services.
Bev used to buy manure and sell it at a small profit, just to make ends meet and keep the work of Manna Industries alive. Eventually as demand grew, finances became too tight and unable to get any help via government grants or sponsorship, Bev went door knocking. She walked the streets of Perth and knocked on hundreds of doors without getting any support.
A few years ago, Bev knocked on the door of the CFMEU in East Perth and ever since, Manna Industries has been the CFMEU's designated Charity.
The Union, with help from contractors donated labour and over $130,000 to renovate a dilapidated soup kitchen, which also helps to provide Perth's unfortunate children with breakfast, for many their only meal of the day! It is not unusual to see kids at breakfast stuffing WeetBix bricks into their pockets so they'll have something to eat later that night.
Building a social conscience...
In more recent times, the CFMEU WA raised considerable funds to support victims of the Victorian Bushfires; in Western Australia a total of $630,772 was raised. $500,000 has been raised for Manna Industries to provide a kitchen facility, food, clothing and Christmas toys for Perth’s homeless and disadvantaged. $100,000 was raised by workers to contribute to Telethon and the Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital. Internationally, $50,000 was contributed to the families of the trapped Chilean miners and $100,000 to the Red Cross to support tsunami victims. These contributions are in addition to the numerous collections on various building sites over past decades to raise funds for workers and their families in times of duress and trauma or for many other good causes. The union has been able to involve itself in these kinds of social issues because the leadership won the deep respect of members through its commitment to improving wages and conditions, restoring their human dignity in a system that had once treated them as expendable slaves.
“The essence of union is look after each other no matter what religion, colour or race.” Mick Buchan.