The Raymond W. Pasnick Award
Born: April 29, 1916
Deceased: March 30, 2002
The Raymond W. Pasnick Award was first awarded by the United Steelworkers Press Association at its biennial conference in 2000 in Las Vegas. It is named after the late Ray Pasnick.
Born in Kensington, Pennsylvania, Ray was the son of an immigrant coal miner. He first became involved in the labor movement at the age of 10 by doing the books for his father, who was a financial secretary of his local.
While working at the Kensington Alcoa plant, Ray and Nick Zonarich formed a new CIO International called the Aluminum Workers of America (AWA). Shortly after they organized the plant he was fired and blacklisted by Alcoa. So at age 20, he became an Organizer for the AWA. He met his wife Marge while hiding from the anti-CIO mob during an organizing campaign in Massena, New York.
In 1946, the AWA merged with the United Steelworkers of America (USWA). Under the USWA, Ray continued to work for social justice as an organizer, writer, award winning editor and honored civil rights activist for the next 56 years. In retirement, he was the volunteer editor of the “Old Timer” SOAR newsletter at the time of his final illness.
He also served for many years as the USWA Public Relations Director and Editor of Steelabor. Ray was also a former Director of the Communications Department and the first Editor of the SOAR newsletter “Old Timer”.
The Raymond W. Pasnick Award is presented for editorial excellence by competition category to size of circulation. Local unions submit the required number of publications and these are judged by an accredited person in the field of writing and editing.