Oldest Worker At General Motors Retires After 67 years10
For many, retirement is the endgame of one’s career. After 30 or 35 years, we are ready to kick back, relax, and enjoy the pleasures of life. But not everyone is eager to punch the timecard one last time. At General Motors, that man was Elmer Zurakowski, who worked at the Warren Tech Center. After 67 years at General Motors, earning the title of the highest seniority hourly employee in the company, he’s finally retiring, according to WXYZ.
Zurakowski started at General Motors when he was 18 in 1951, working in Plant 23 in Detroit, he said in his interview with WXYZ. While he wanted to work with wood, the automaker suggested he work with metal instead. He was disappointed but dove headlong in the position ready to learn. He became a die-maker apprentice. When he started, he saw workings building tanks for the Korean War.
While he’s excited to spend time with his family and focus on woodworking, he’s sad he won’t see his co-workers every day. However, he is grateful his career at General Motors was able to provide his family—a wife, three daughters, and a son. He found pleasure in his career because he chose to find purpose in his day-to-day activities. He said if you can’t find pleasure in your work, then you’ll never know what pleasure is. He added that if you think your work isn’t fun, then start thinking differently. Zurakowski is also a member of Mensa.
Before his retirement, he stopped by his local UAW hall. There, his fellow union members presented him with a plaque celebrating his 67-year-long career.
Often, a career becomes more than just about the work. There are camaraderie and friendship, and when it’s time to leave a job for retirement or something else, the hardest part isn’t leaving the work behind, it’s leaving the people you’ve enjoyed working with that’s the most difficult.
We wish Elmer a happy, fulfilling, and long retirement.
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Amazing…..how did he survive all the prior layoffs, restructurings and mandatory retirement?? Even GM CEO’s retired at 65….freaking Bill Mitchell…Duntov…all had to retire at 65??? he’s 85 according to the article…. I wonder if this is like a “Milton” thing like in the movie Office Space where he had been fired for years but no one ever stopped giving him paychecks?
He “survived” because he was represented by the UAW. Trust me, I worked for GM for nearly 30 years as a white collar worker (Engineer with 2 Masters Degrees). These days GM has little regard for it’s workforce. It once valued its white collar workforce, but no more. If it weren’t for the UAW, GM would have either moved all the blue collar jobs out of the country or be paying them poorly (just take a look at how non-union suppliers treat their assembly workers). Elmer was smart, he probably had plenty of opportunities to take a non-union position at GM and didn’t.
No matter how Elmer survived all the GM downsizings, we should all aspire to bring his level of energy to our day to day work! Best wishes to you Elmer!
This selfish fossil could have retired decades ago instead of taking up a job that could have went to someone who needed a job.. BTW he had no real hobbies or life if he preferred to keep working that long.
He probably was very good at his job. And of course the company rewarded him by allowing him to continue so long. Do you think any millennials would have that kind of dedication? He’ll no, most don’t even want to work.
This guy was young once and got a chance, how is a ” millennial” (BTW not all are lazy or lost) going to get a shot if dead weight won’t move on.
There is no way this guy was as productive as he was 50 years ago. Every generation has it’s winners and losers.
You, my internet correspondent, are the loser.
That would be your mom, as you are proof of that LOL !!! Enjoy Troll !!!
The truth always hurts.
Mr. Z, as all Lutheran High East students knew Elmer Zurakowski by was our draftsman and architecture teacher in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. We all knew he worked at GM as well. He only taught class a handful of hours per week, but what a great work ethic. Mr. Z was everyone’s favorite teacher. Great guy.