Was Taking The Chrysler Buyout a Mistake?

Did auto workers who took buyouts make the wrong choice? Are those who stayed on the job better off? That’s a question some may be pondering, now that the auto industry is beginning to climb back.

On Monday, Kate Davidson of Changing Gears looked at the topic for NPR’s Morning Edition. Her story featured a former Chrysler worker, Joseph Arducan, who Changing Gears is following over the next year as he tries to figure out his next steps. Joseph Arducan

[audio:http://changinggears.info/audio/20101122_me_07.mp3]
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Arducan took his buyout as Chrysler was headed for bankruptcy. He’s not alone: more than 100,000 auto workers decided it was time to find new careers or retire.

But Arducan has found that becoming a college student at 43 isn’t that easy. As his wife Lori told Kate for her Morning Edition story, “Had I known then what I know now, I don’t know if we would have made the same decision. Lori Arducan went on, “Chrysler is back up and running. His friends are working 12 hours, 6 days a week. And, it’s hard — financially, it’s hard.”

Joseph’s friend Mark Jennings, who worked alongside him at Chrysler’s stamping plant in Warren, Mich. is now back working overtime. Jennings, who did not even consider a buyout, has sympathy and respect for his pal. “I could not even imagine restarting a career at that age.”

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