Commemorating Workers Memorial Day

Commemorating Workers Memorial Day

On average, one person dies from a workplace accident every hour in the United States.

People gathered in Ishpeming Monday night to remember those that have died and commemorate Workers Memorial Day.

It was a full house at the Cliffs Shaft Mining Museum as names were read of the men who died in mining accidents across Marquette County and historians reminded people of the horrible working conditions in the mines before unions were formed.

“If you don’t have a safe work environment you would see things like you see in this museum (Cliffs Shaft Mining Museum) where people were trapped and killed,” United Steelworkers Union District Director Michael Bolton said.  “The companies didn’t care about the workers.”

“It’s important that we work on safety all the time, otherwise we’d have more people lost.”

It’s days like Workers’ Memorial Day that remind people workplace safety is a top priority.

“(Workers Memorial Day) is very important to understand how important safety is,” Bolton said.  “Steelworkers actually lose, on average, one member per week, so (safety) is important to us everyday, but this is a day that we annually do this.”

There was also a tribute to honor Gary Hytinen, a United Steelworker who died at the Tilden Mine in December.