A hometown story - Pixburgh Stillworker

Good morning,

 While rummaging through my parents’ attic on Bessemer Terrace, I found my late grandfather’s USW union card. The booklet is a union reinstatement of some sort.

 George Skantar, a Slovak immigrant, worked in the ET rolling mill for about 30 years or so until the late 1950s. His story was classic Pixburgh Stillworker — from company housing to a new house on the Terrace (where I grew up). He and his wife raised six children. Two of the boys were long-time ET employees as well.

 From family papers we know that Grandpap bought groceries from the company store, supported the fund to build the Braddock Hospital, put three kids through college, funded an ill-fated grocery store and still had money to send to family overseas.

 I knew him in the twilight of his life. He had his special chair where he would smoke his pipe, read the Steelworker newspaper or Jednota, and watch us play. He spoke broken English and got dressed in a suit for Sunday mass – the one day a week when he would smoke a cigar on the walk home from church.

 Steel runs deep in our family. Many times as a kid I sat on the edge of the hillside and watched the mill below. The colors, the smoke, the bangs and booms.

 I wanted to share this find with his old local. I am proud to call myself the grandson of a “stillworker”.


Dan Skantar

Oakdale, PA