I became employed in 1987 by Pratt & Whitney at the Middletown plant and started attending my Union’s monthly meetings. I would listen to legislative issues and reports that Lori would give. I was impressed with her knowledge of politics and the role they play in our daily lives. To this day she still amazes me with her knowledge and caring about women’s issues, politics that affect working families and gay rights.
Lori went to work at the CT AFL-CIO as their Secretary Treasurer and was the chief lobbyist representing the Unions of Connecticut. She would tackle some of the most important issues we were facing at the time, a living wage, healthcare for all, firefighter and police medical issues of hypertension, Family Medical Leave, Gay Rights, and raising the minimum wage for working families, just to name a few. Lori has represented women within our workplaces to erase the wage discrepancies between men and women, always working to raise us toward the glass ceiling.
Lori is capable of tackling any issue that is thrown at her. She is very humble and does not always take the credit that is due her. Lori represented many of our Union members when she was still in the shop at Pratt. She fought hard for what she believed was fair and just for our members. She was a shop steward, recording secretary and then vice president of our Local before she went to work at the State Fed. She came from a family of three older brothers, where her mother and father both worked. Lori has a drive to always do what is fair for the underdog. She also hates to take credit for all of her endeavors. She would much rather see her friends and colleagues get credit for what she has helped them with.
Whenever I think of Lori, friendship and commitment comes to mind. Lori has a fierce commitment to always remember her family and friends in all she does. Nothing means more to her than family. Lori is always committed to helping along her family and friends by mentoring and assisting in whatever the issue may be.
Lori has long been committed to raising the status of women, be it in the workplace or within our personal lives. She fights hard to ensure women are treated with fairness and as equals, in all we do. She believes women must be on an equal footing with their male peers. Lori has been an advocate of women for as long as I have known her, always guiding, mentoring and supporting us.
Lori is a very humble person. She hates to receive accolades as she feels she “didn’t do anything special that someone else wouldn’t do, too.” Lori has been such a huge help within my own career. I have been so fortunate to have such a caring and loving friend in my life, both with work and my personal life. I am so proud of all her accomplishments!
Shirley Dickes is the Recording Secretary of C.A.N.E.L. Lodge 700 and the 2009 recipient of the CWEALF Maria Miller Stewart Award “One Woman Makes a Difference.”