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      Remembering those lost on the job

      Monday was Workers Memorial Day.

      A day to remember those who have lost their lives on the job.

      In workplaces across America, workers continue to be exposed to dangerous chemicals and encounter numerous safety hazards.

      But the purpose of the rally and vigil at the Cliffs Museum was to honor those workers who died in accidents at the mines here in the Upper Peninsula, and to remember the most recent man lost on the job.

      Jim Manty is a third generation miner.

      He's had grandparents, his father, a brother, and numerous other family members all work at the mine.

      "My grandfather died in a mining accident in 1929. There was very little help for families and he left four orphans and a widow," said Manty.

      Manty says his grandfather's death is the reason he decided to be a safety advocate at his job.

      "It's a very sad tale. It just strengthened my resolve that we need a safe workplace. And we work hard at that every day," said Manty.

      Another miner, Gary Hytinen of Ishpeming, passed away on the job on December 6th, 2013.

      He fell from a railroad car, after suffering a heart attack at 61 years old.

      "Everyone knows that although we've come a long way with safety regulations, and reducing hazards on the work site and so on, they're still there," said Michael Thibault, Chairperson for the Marquette County Labor Council.

      Hytinen worked at Cliffs Natural Resources Tilden Mine for 39 years.

      His family attended the event, and received a plaque in his honor.

      There were four presentations as well, telling the history of mining, and a list of those who've died over the years was read.

      "I noticed also when I talk to people, how powerful it is to read those names of those people that died. Because it is our names. There's not a name that I read on there that isn't a name that isn't our neighbor or our names," said Jim Paquette, Retired Iron Ore Miner.

      The main message of the night was keeping your workplace safe.

      Many in attendance said knowing history is of the utmost importance.