Canada | National

Fewer Mohawks remain in ironworking industry in New York





Fewer than 100 Mohawks from Canada remain in the ironworking industry in New York City, The Globe and Mail reports.

Mohawk ironworkers helped build nearly every major skyscraper in the city. But their numbers are down from a high of about 500.

“There are only a couple of young guys doing it – maybe a dozen, half-dozen that I know,” Joe McComber, who is from the Kahnawake Reserve in Quebec, told the paper. “It’s a hard life, this; it’s not for everybody.”

At 56, McComber is one of the older workers. Younger men say new requirements are keeping a new generation of Mohawks out of the industry.

"I think they want astronaut’s equivalence," Adam Cross, 31, who is one of the youngest Mohawks on the job, told the paper of the admissions process.

It wasn't like that for Pete Marquis, 56, who plans to retire soon. All he had to do to enter the field was pay for a license from a union.

Get the Story:
Why the Mohawks are no longer walking the high steel (The Globe and Mail 8/24)