The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, April 25, 2014

Operators thank trades for support after Chris Casto fatality

By The Building Tradesman

By Douglas W. Stockwell
Business Manager
Operating Engineers Local 324

When one thinks about exactly what it means to be a Union member, the term brotherhood comes to mind.   There is a bond forged between members.  It’s fraternal.   It’s family.  As tradesmen, we get up every morning, go to work with our brothers and sisters and try to provide for our families.   We rely on each other day in and day out to stay safe and productive on the jobsite.   We do this for the betterment of all.  That’s what it means to be a part of the Union family.

On April 4th, our brother fell.   Christopher Casto died tragically on the job while working at US Steel in Ecorse.   He did what we all do.  He got up, went to work, performed his job, but he didn’t come home.   The loss we feel in the family is indescribable.  Chris was only 36 years old.  He was born and raised Union. He spent over half of his life as an Operating Engineer.  His father is a retired Operating Engineer, working several years by his side.  He is legacy, the epitome of union brotherhood.  He leaves behind a loving wife and three young children.  Their loss is unimaginable.

Over the last few weeks, the outpouring of support from the Labor community has been remarkable.  Donations for Chris’ family have poured in from not only his fellow Operating Engineers, but tradesmen from all sectors of the Building Trades.   There have been jobsite collections, online donations and calls and cards of support flowing in to the Hall.   If you would like to support Chris’ family, you can go online to donate at or by calling the Operating Engineers at 248-451-0324.

This is what it means to be Union.   We take care of our own.  I am proud to be a Union Operating Engineer.  I am proud of our community and I thank you all for your gracious support of our members and their families.


Douglas W. Stockwell