·  by Berry Craig, AFT Local 1360

Marshall “The Counselor” Pullen dies in West Paducah

Marshall Pullen, known by many of his union brothers and sisters as “The Counselor,” died in October at age 68 in West Paducah, Ky. 

Pullen served as an OCAW Local 550 committeeman beginning in 1978, and continued in this position through the PACE and USW mergers until 2010.  During his tenure, he studied and became knowledgeable about the National Labor Relations Act and its benefit to workers. Union members eventually nicknamed him "The Counselor," after he filed several charges with the National Labor Relations Board against Paducah Gaseous Diffusion plant management. 

Pullen worked at the atomic plant near Paducah for 41 years, starting in 1973. J.W. Cleary, a Local 550 retiree, said Pullen helped negotiate contracts that resulted in substantial pay and benefit hikes for union workers.

"Marshall Pullen was a defender of workers' rights and despised injustice against anyone," said Jim Key, USW Local 550 vice president and president of the USW Atomic Energy Workers Council. “He was never one to quit, or back down when it came to making a wrong a right. His legacy will always include his fight, determination and a voice for the common worker.” 

Pullen, an African American man, grew up when segregation and race discrimination were still the law and social order in Paducah. He was "a follower and a believer of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King that all men are created equal," Key said.

Pullen is survived by his wife of 46 years, Iva Rouse Pullen, a daughter, Michelle Pullen of Louisville, and a granddaughter.

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