“My motto was I work hard so I could play harder.”
Glenda Holman began working for Bethlehem Steel in 1990 as a manifest clerk at the bar rod wire mill. From there she moved onto the tin mill, the plate mill, the old coal mill, then to the new coal mill, to the main office, and then finally back to the tin mill. As soon as the tin mill experienced layoffs, Glenda moved back to the main office where she remained as one of the last workers standing until the closure. She was trained well in the clerical realm and mastered a variety of skills she needed to keep her job. She feels that her career of 22 years at Bethlehem Steel was a learning experience, and she appreciates the people she met and her life-long friends from the Mill. In witnessing the sadness and regret of the steel workers on the final day of operation, Glenda chooses to look at the bright side and believes that Dundalk is an area that is about to change. “I welcome the change and I’m getting ready to embark on it.” (Written by Jennie Williams, Maryland Traditions intern and UMBC student)
Hi my name is Glenda Holman and I started at Bethlehem Steel on June 18th, 1990. I was there for 22 years. Manifest clerk. I was the person responsible for generating the paperwork that goes out with the material that we were shipping. I worked in the shipping department.
Not involved in the union at all. I had a bad experience with the union. I got laid off on 1992 when rod mill closed down and I had some issues with the way that they laid me off out of seniority. My general feeling about what has happened at Sparrows Point in the 22 years that I’ve been here is that it’s a sad state of affairs, I thought a lot of folks, especially those in management kind of came through Bethlehem steel and came through Sparrows Point plant and they raped. They took all the good resources out of it and they used it for their gain and then ran away.
Sparrows point was an American industry and we were a manufacturing industry and we made good product for what I’ve been told. When I worked in the plate mill I remember a situation where it was an accident on 95 and a truck hit a bridge and they needed to reconstruct the bridge or else traffic on 95 was going to be torn up for like 6 months, but because we had the material and the best quality product, we had that material available that bridge was only closed for about three weeks. Sparrows Point provided a lucrative salary, it provided a lucrative employment for me and allowed me to do the things that I wanted to do. My motto was I work hard so I could play harder. I don’t work hard I work smart.
My last day was kind of non descripted it just happened. I just went home and I was like ok I’m getting ready for the next journey in my life. (Edited by Claudia Pineda)