Look around the business world, and you'll find Baby Boomers departing en masse from companies. Often the timing isn't their own. I know about this because I was one of them.
When my father returned from the South Pacific after World War II, my parents made up for lost time by producing seven children about as fast as possible. I'm No. 2, a true Baby Boomer. That means that in this day and age, I, like many of my 60-something peers, had a bulls-eye on my back.
What's happening to many Baby Boomers in the workplace—and this includes the rubber industry—isn't age discrimination. Nope, it's wage discrimination, which is NOT illegal and, in fact, is a common, business practice. Even understandable.
A company has a senior person who likes his/her job and sticks with it for many years. Over time this person's pay increases to the point where their compensation is way more than people beneath them. If they did a good job as a mentor, the company has a qualified replacement waiting in the wings.
So you get rid of the higher up, and save money. Today it's the Baby Boomers; 20 years ago, I remember that happening to the Greatest Generation people in the rubber industry. I imagine someday today's up-and-comers will get their turn at the chopping block.
In my case, I was treated extremely well on the way out the door. Emotionally, I was all in anyway—I had planned to retire in a year, so severance essentially amounted to a paid vacation. Plus I still could contribute for awhile as a consultant these past two years. Sweet deal, indeed.