Steelworkers honor those killed in mill

2013-09-26T18:09:00Z 2013-09-30T08:26:04Z Steelworkers honor those killed in millJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | John Pullan, Chet Peebly and Tommy Lowry will never be forgotten.

Their names have been etched on a slate of granite that has become the U.S. Steel Midwest Plant Workers Memorial.

The memorial was dedicated Thursday at USW Local 6103 headquarters at 1919 Willowcreek Road.

The memorial, said USW Dist. 7 Subdirector Mike Millsap, serves as both a reminder and a memorial.

"It honors and respects past members who passed away in the workplace. It is a place to come together to remember those killed in the workplace," said Millsap.

It also, Millsap said, "is a reminder to all of us how hazardous the workplace is."

Local 6103 President Terry Pappas said the memorial was an idea of members. He and members Dan Turpin and Bob Quinn worked to erect the memorial. Workers in the U.S. Steel Midwest Steel Plant in Portage fabricated the granite and steel monument.

"We wanted to put it up and pay our respects," said Pappas.

Pullan was killed in 1977; Peebly in 1978 and Lowry in 1994.

The Rev. Sherman Paul of Mount Zion Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ of Gary, led the group in prayer. He told them that the workers' memorial is part of an international movement to recognized those "injured and those who paid the ultimate price."

Portage Mayor James Snyder also paid tribute, telling those who gathered that the memorial not only marks "the importance of unions in the workplace" to assure the safety of workers, but will be a daily reminder for those who drive by.

 

(Editor's note: This version of the story was edited to correct an error which misidentified Mike Millsap's position with USW Dist. 7.)

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