Inducing Early Retirement: Some Conclusions in Perspective
The men whose decisions we have been examining were survivors in more than the necessary sense of life expectancy curves. They were also survivors of the jarring, wracking, numbing toil of life on and around the assembly line, making a living for themselves and their families by making cars and trucks for the American consumer—and in the process making jobs for retailers and mechanics and service-station operators and highway and bridge construction crews, high salaries for company managers, and profits for shareholders, banks, and corporate principals. During the span of two, three, in some cases even four decades, they had successfully negotiated with machinery that could maim or worse, and sometimes did. They had endured cycles of layoff and recall, work stoppages and speed ups and foul ups. They had punched their times cards and played by the rules of the shop floor culture and, more or less, by those of the front office as well. Sometimes they imagined switching to a different line of work; talk of being self-employed and one’s own boss was a common catharsis (xcHamper 1991). But with so many years already behind them, they had gone too far to change now. Besides, where else would their skills translate into the same high wage-rates? They had the security of seniority, the respect of their co-workers, and some authority of voice accumulated from years of experience and a large union.
KeywordsEarly Retirement Pension Plan Pension Benefit Private Pension Wage Bill
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.