Some Matters of Context
The main events analyzed later in this book—workers’ decisions about ending their careers in the auto industry via retirement—were most immediately events of personal biography. Workers who had contributed tens of thousands of hours of paid labor time during the course of 20 or 30 or 40 years of employment in the production facilities of General Motors grappled with the difficulties of scheduling a major transitional event of the life cycle: Should I retire now, or should I wait? For each individual worker it was primarily and largely the quotidian character of biographical experience that furnished the territory of that decision with intensities of meaning. Age, health status, family relationships, financial circumstances, the prospects of alternative or “second-best” employment in the local labor market, the attractions or anxieties (or both) of “quitting work”—these and similar other traits of personal experience levied their shares in the weight of the decision.
KeywordsPension Fund Early Retirement Pension Plan Pension Benefit Auto Industry
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