Friday was International Women’s Day, and the women of GM Lordstown were recognized.
There was a short ceremony to honor them and their role in the company.
“I have been in a job where men were being appreciated or paid more for the same work I was doing. Coming up here, at least I got equal pay for equal work,” said Vickie Raymond, who has worked at the plant for 24 years.
Charmaine Reiter, who has worked at GM Lordstown for nine years, said she got some strength from the recognition in the midst of a very tough week.
GM Lordstown was Reiter’s second plant in a 22-year auto career.
“Auto work is hard for women,” she said. “There are jobs in that building that you have to be able to lift 30 pounds.”
This week, she watched the final cars move past her in the paint shop and then through the assembly line.
Her husband, Ron, is a skilled tradesman at the plant. They weren’t going to transfer, but as the line ended, things changed.
“Reality set in when they closed the doors, when that last car went by, and we put in to go to a couple different places,” she said.
Reiter’s husband has 29 years with GM and is eligible to retire in May.
The unallocated status leaves them in limbo, though.
Reiter knows that some women in other jobs still don’t get equal pay for equal work and is grateful for those who fought to get it for her.
“Because I know some of the things the women in the past have gone through, and today, we don’t have to endure, and I respect them for that,” she said.