Mon Valley group helps retired steelworkers
They are two men on a mission.
Their aim is to alert former fellow retired steelworkers of help available to them.
“Most of the guys who worked at the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel plants in Monessen and Allenport are in their late 70s and 80s now and may not be aware of some of their rights – particularly in the medical field,” Gerald “Galvie” Gardner said.
Gardner is president and Richard Senko, vice president, of an organization dedicated to assisting retired steelworkers.
Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) meets once a moth at the Allenport Fire Hall and is open to all former steelworkers and their spouses.
The next meeting will be held 1 p.m. Aug. 19.
“We would advise the steelworkers to not pay any medical bills until they check with us,” Gardner said.
He explained an insurance representative is present at every meeting and through her intervention, “has saved us thousands of dollars.”
Gardner and Senko stated recent examples – without revealing identification.
“A gentleman from Fairhope got a $500 bill. He brought the bill to the meeting and the insurance rep saved him the full amount.
“A man from Perryopolis got a bill for $350 and after it was straightened out, he only had to meet a $20 co-pay.”
Gardner emphasized SOAR is not a social club.
“We are an arm of the International Steelworkers Union. There are SOAR groups all over the United States and Canada,” he said.
He emphasized that spouses should come to the meetings also, “so they understand what goes on with their own benefits.”
“Since the local mill changed hands so many times, folks don't know who to contact with questions,” Senko added. “We can help.”
To make the sessions more interesting, speakers who give valuable information to retirees are scheduled.
“They learn about safety issues, education, health and other facts,” Gardner said. “We try to make the meetings both interesting and helpful.”
Oh, yes, there is one social a year! The group celebrates Christmas with a party.
Emma Jene Lelik is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Belle Vernon Area turf ready to go
- Child sex case continued
- Fayette man charged in child sex case
- Retired Monessen mail carrier, veteran, 97, still loves to travel the world
- No quorum in Rostraver
- ‘Color Run’ planned for Mon Valley
- Committee planning BVA anniversary celebration
- Two Cal U students charged in altercation
- History abounds at site of Maple Creek Distributing