With Mother’s Day just around the corner, many sons and daughters will be scrambling to do something special for their moms. But for one Detroit mother and daughter pair, every day feels like Mother’s Day.
Detroit resident Evetta Osborne works alongside her daughter, Monique Watson, at General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. Apart from vacation days and an occasional sick day or two, the duo has installed almost every lithium-ion battery pack on nearly all Chevrolet Volt, Opel Ampera, Holden Volt, and Cadillac ELR EREVs since production began.
“We’re a good team and our relationship is secondary when it comes to performing our jobs but it’s great to work alongside my daughter,” said Osborne, a mother of five.
The battery packs weigh more than 400 pounds each, so automatic guided vehicles deliver them just as the vehicle body structures are positioned overhead. The carts then lift the packs up as Osborne and Watson guide them into the chassis and secure them with fasteners. The pair have choreographed the routine to perfection throughout their tenure at the plant.
“We’ve been doing it long enough together that we anticipate each other’s moves,” said Watson, also a mother. “There’s a lot of non-verbal communication that we share when we’re working, but it’s also great to know my mother is there to talk with and share things with every day. The arrangement has absolutely improved our relationship.”
Osborne began working at the Detroit-Hamtramck facility in 1999 and encouraged her daughter to apply. Watson was hired in 2006 and when Volt production was first announced, they trained together and were eventually both assigned to the battery installation station.
“From an early age, we knew what it meant to give yourself 100 percent to your job,” Watson said. “And while I know I’m doing a good job for our customers, I also know that my mom is right there, looking over my shoulder. Talk about expectations!”
Watson’s eight-year old son has also taken an interest in his mother’s and grandmother’s job at Detroit-Hamtramck.
“He really wants to come and see us at work,” she said. “And he tells me all the time he wants to work here, too – either that or design cars.”
Listen to Watson and Osborne tell their heartwarming story in the video below. And once you’re done, maybe consider getting started on those Mother’s Day plans.