Older Workers in the Lurch
Wall Street Journal (08/20/03) Vol. 162, No. 6 p.B1; Morse, Dan

As factories and other textile operations shut down and leave many workers jobless, retirees and laid-off employees are searching for the next adventure. Older workers are often bored without a part-time or full-time job, and it is harder for them to learn new skills to obtain better-paying and more successful positions, despite arguments to the contrary by economists and labor experts. Many elderly workers are afraid to invest in retraining because they fear they will not be hired by employers due to their age, despite antidiscrimination laws now in place. The recent demise of Pillowtex has left many workers without jobs, and company officials note that the financial predicament of the company could preclude laid-off employees from receiving severance pay. Moreover, it appears that the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation could administer the displaced workers' pensions, which would significantly reduce their worth.


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