Closings: Schools, churches, day-cares and businesses

Group holds fundraiser to help laid off Granite City steelworkers

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - A show of support for some 1,600 Granite City steel workers tonight in the Metro East. They are dealing with tough times since being laid off nearly a year ago.

In recent years some 2000 folks worked here making steel. Now, I'm told, that number is down to about 435. In some case both husband and wife were laid off.

Neighbors came together for neighbors Thursday night at Gateway Motorsports Park. The Granite City Rotary Group hosts a fundraiser to help laid off steelworkers pay bills.

"We feel like it's our turn to give back to the backbone of this community which has been the Granite City Steel," said Cindy Gavilsky of the Granite City Rotary Club.

"It's been devastating trying to keep our heads above water car payments house payment." said steel worker Robin Baker.

Good paying jobs for hundreds of employees came to an end last December.

"We have to juggle bills around to make ends meet." said steel worker Carla Jackson.

Over the years steel workers have held rallies demanding changes in trade laws to prevent other countries from dumping cheap steel in America. Union officials say they've recently won three cases at the Commerce Department that could dramatically change things.

"It's a leveling of the playing field." said Steel Workers Local 1899 President Dan Simmons. " It should result in the opening of the plant at some point."

There's hope people could begin returning to work by next spring, until then this fundraiser will offer some help to struggling families.

steel workers tell me it's rough swallowing their pride to go a food pantry for help. They used to be the ones donating to the same pantry.