RUMFORD — United Steel Workers Local 900 has invited the public to attend and observe Workers’ Memorial Day, Sunday, April 27.

It will be held from 11 a.m. to noon at the Local 900 Union Hall on Route 108 in Rumford’s Smith Crossing neighborhood.

“There will be a short service to remember all workers everywhere who lost their life on the job,” member Scot Grassette said Wednesday afternoon.

For last year’s debut ceremony, the union bought a $600 bronze plaque, using members’ donations collected in the past decade. Initial plans were to mount it on a giant gear that used to turn a part of the No. 11 paper machine in the Rumford paper mill.

The gear has been mounted in cement in the union’s parking lot, but the 14-inch plaque has yet to be attached to it.

Grassette said Thursday afternoon that Local 900 members will mount the plaque and finish the memorial’s piping at approximately 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 26.

Prior to last year’s ceremony, Grassette said the memorial and plaque were to honor and remember all workers who have died on the job.

He said the dryer gear, which used to turn a “can” through which steam was fed to dry paper, signifies “industry.” A bull gear would also be part of the memorial.

Among several participating speakers are state Sen. John Patrick, D-Rumford, USW Regional Representative Dan Lawson and Local 900 President Ron Hemingway.

Grassette said this year marks the 25th anniversary of Workers’ Memorial Day in the United States. It is also the 43rd anniversary of the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the right of every worker to a safe job.

Snacks and refreshments will be served following the presentations. 

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