By: E&P Staff
Philadelphia Newspapers printing plant supervisor and union official Thomas J. Gallagher died Wednesday of cancer. He was 64.
Gallagher retired in October, several years after his diagnosis, and taking treatments on his days off, according to the Inquirer.
Starting as a fly boy in the old North Broad Street pressroom, Gallagher apprenticed for four years and became a journeyman pressman for the Inquirer before moving to the Daily News presses in 1977.
Seven years later, he became business agent the pressmen’s union, and in 1989, as Council of Newspaper Unions president, he represented 10 locals in negotiations with Philadelphia Newspapers Inc., the Knight Ridder unit that owned the Inquirer and Daily News. Agreement was reached on the 1989 contract five months before the existing contract expired.
A Daily News pressman and a union shop steward until 1995, Gallagher was then appointed mailroom supervisor for the papers’ new suburban production plant. As a manager, he remained a practical joker, Inquirer staff writer Sally A. Downey reported, quoting Packaging Director Fred Lehman saying Gallagher “was efficient and got the job done, but he had to have fun, too. People loved to work with him.”
Gallagher is survived by his wife, Carol Douglass, two sons, two daughters, grandchildren, 10 brothers and sisters and former wife, Anne Kassner Gallagher.