MARQUETTE. Cathy Carlson visited Todd Pazz on the 8th Day to talk about the Upper Peninsula Labor Hall of Fame, located in the Northern Michigan University Superior Domain. The state of the labor movement in the U.P., worker rights, public education, fair wages and social justice were among the topics discussed during the interview. Inductions to honor those that have contributed the most to the Upper Peninsula labor only occur every other year.
[Interview 1st Aired September 28th 2019]
Friday evening, October 11th, trade unionists, family and friends will gather to induct MEA member, Stu Skauge, USW member Tommy Spencer and AFSCME member Shana Thornton into the Upper Peninsula Labor Hall of Fame during the Banquet and Induction Ceremony in the Ballrooms of the Northern Center on NMU’s campus. The Inductees are being recognized for their lifelong dedication to improving the lives of working men and women in the Upper Peninsula.
Stu Skauge was a dedicated classroom teacher for 33 years. He was a member of the Michigan Education Association (MEA) for 46 years and served as President Elect, President, and Chief Negotiator for his bargaining unit in the Marquette Area Public Schools for over 25 years. Stu became the MEA UniServ Director in Marquette and Alger Counties for 10 years, before his retirement. He continues to be active with the MEA retired organization. Stu is a committed and involved member of his community, as a past and current Council Member for the City of Ishpeming, an officer of the organization that plans the Ishpeming 4th of July celebration and holds active memberships in the Rotary club of Ishpeming, the Cliff’s Shaft Mining Museum, the Ishpeming Elks and the Hiawatha Radio Association. Stu also served his country as a Sergeant E-5 in the Korean War and is a Life Member and Past Commander of the Ishpeming VFW.
Tommy Spencer was a USW member for 38 year before his retirement. He was a leader, trainer and activist for on the job Health and Safety and became the Company Committee Safety Chairperson. He helped to establish the Steelworkers Coalition. Tommy was one of the original planners of the Worker Memorial Day event. He has spent hundreds of hours of volunteer time to various labor events with his own local and the Marquette County Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Tommy is currently the President of the Cliff’s Shaft Mining Museum Board. Tommy has been very active in community service throughout his life; a previous member of the Negaunee Township Building and Recreation Committee and raising money for Bay Cliff Health Camp through his work with the Harley Owners Group (HOG).
Shana Thornton began her career as a teacher’s aide, but quickly became a union activist, steward, chapter chair and local president in her local. She became a Staff Representative for AFSCME and went on to be the Director of Field Services for AFSCME Council 25 supervising 23 Staff Representatives across Michigan. Shana was the first and only woman to serve as President of the Marquette County Labor Council. Also, she was involved with the U.P. Labor-Management Council and Chair of the Labor Advisory and Planning Committee. Shana served on two statewide organizations, the Michigan AFL-CIO General Board and the Michigan Labor-Management Council, as a U.P. representative. She was an activist / member, Executive Committee member and Precinct Delegate to the Marquette County Democratic Party.
This event starts at 5:00 p.m. and is open to the public and to friends of Stu Skauge, Tommy Spencer and Shana Thornton. Tickets are available by contacting Alex Gustafson at 906-553-9405 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and are $50.00 per person.