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Perceptions about and attitudes toward senior employees can be decisive to whether a senior wants to continue working. In some workplaces there are still myths that, at some point or another, people become incapable of learning any more, or get too old to be inventive and creative. Research shows that there is no direct correlation between age and job performance. Common debilities, such as poor hearing or vision, are usually easy to compensate for, so that, in practice, they have little effect on efficiency or safety.

As a union representative, it is important that you provide the company with this knowledge in order to counter negative attitudes and stereotypes. One survey found that 65% of managers in the workplace believe that young people are preferable to older ones when new technology or new working methods are to be introduced. You can help your colleagues stay on the job longer by committing to seniors in connection with competence enhancement and readapting. However, it is important that the employees themselves are open to change, and actively involved in enhancing their own competence. As a union representative, you are a key driving force in changing negative attitudes toward senior workers at your company, in both dialogue with your members and management.

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