A welder at US Steel Gary Works died on Friday while working in the U.S. Steel Slab Storage Yard. Details about the fatality are still unclear and the incident is under investigation.
US Steel issued the following statement:
“On the evening of Friday, September 30, there was an incident at U. S. Steel’s Gary Works hot strip mill that resulted in a fatality. An investigation is underway, and we will work closely with the United Steelworkers and relevant government agencies throughout the process. No further details regarding the incident are available at this time. Our deepest sympathies are with the employee’s family.”
Rodney Lewis, Sr., president of USW Local 1014 said on Facebook Jonathan Arrizola, 30, was a part of a four man crew assigned to troubleshoot a crane.
The fatality comes in the wake of recent protests by union workers about safety at the mill. Recent layoffs and demotions of maintenance workers have put workers at risk by delaying preventative maintenance, said the USW.
“Moving people all around a mill like chess pieces only promises to result in something tragic,” said Lewis. “Shutting down training when you need it the most is just bad business when you consider that we are “the company’s most important asset”. Working with bare bones crews ain’t cutting it. Bad news is not an if, but a WHEN. As terrible as it sounds haven’t we been saying that something was coming??”
Arrizola’s wife told CBS 2 that her husband had recently been looking for other work because “it started getting dangerous” at the mill. Whitney Arrizola said her husband had been working between 70 to 90 hours a week, fixing and welding overhead cranes at US Steel Gary Works.
Arrizola, a Navy veteran and father of two, worked for the US steel for four years.
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