November 28, 2018
CWA Local 9414 in Chico, California has stories coming in about the fires, Randy Riggs has two stories to tell and share . . .
One of the managers (Randy) that just retired last month lost everything to the fire as well as his mother and son, each lost everything also.
His mother is 85 years old and had to drive her husband 90+years old to Chico on a back road.
It took over 6 hours to get to Chico thru flames & smoke. Randy had no idea where they were or if they got out safely. The next day he found out that his elderly parents had been put up in a back room at one of the motels that was booked full, but the manager knew that they needed some place at that moment to stay and offered up the back room. That was his first blessing that they were safe. Next when Randy got into town he ran into an old workmate that said that his mother had just passed away last month and that Randy & family could stay at his mom's place as long as they needed as it was large enough for all of the 3 generations to stay, Blessing #2. Then Randy went out and bought 20- $50 gift cards and brought them to me, (Randy Riggs, Pres 9414), at the Union hall and said that he had been so blessed that he wanted to donate the gift cards to give the gift cards out to our folks that needed them.
Another wonderful story was about how a group from Davis- UFCW Local 8, came up on the Saturday after the fire started and brought all kinds of food up to Chico and cooked it for everyone that came by, we had tri-tip, corn-beef & cabbage, chicken, hot dogs & hamburgers. All provided by and cooked by the UFCW Local Members. What was left over they took to the tent city at the Walmart store, where many people are staying in tents with no home to go back to.
People have just been so giving and doing it so freely that it makes you feel proud to be involved. I can't tell you what it's like to get all the wonderful calls from all my Brothers and Sisters, Presidents of the Union and from District 9 staff. When District 9 VP Tom Runnion came to our membership meeting, right after the fire started, that was a big lift not only to our members but to me also.
Again I can't tell you how much we have appreciated all that has been done for us.
Thanks and God Bless.
Randy Riggs, President CWA Local 9414