«We have to work so that the customer is satisfied.»
"Kurt come on, get a move on! The interview starts at half past nine," says Hans as he sprints lightly toward Kurt. Not out of breath, but in excellent shape despite the sprint, the two arrive in the meeting room above the factory hall.
Kurt Thut (66, pictured above left) has been part of the team that produces GMP washers at Müller since 2018. Hans Richiero (74, right) has been with the company for 6 years, started at the Wohlen site, went through the move and now works here in Münchenstein. Both work in the Assembling / Assembly department as plant assemblers. They are enthusiastic about their department manager, Martin Wochele. More than that. They say, "If it weren't for him, the workshop would be in chaos."
Because they like working at Müller Processing, the two sprightly retirees are still there - in a part-time workload of about 50 percent, on call. They are called up according to the workload. So it can happen that they are here for a whole week.
Hans Richiero loves riding his bike. "But since I can't be on my bike every day and also don't want to be on my wife's back, it came up in discussions with management that I work here by the day." He finds the mix of free time, family and continued employment super: "That's how it came about that I'm still here," he says with a smile.
Kurt Thut was approached by Martin Wochele just over a year ago. "I used to be his boss, now he's mine. He told me they still had work here, including for me. Then I thought about it and shortly thereafter started at Müller in the team of cleaning system builders."
The experienced men's diverse field of work ranges from insulating the piping in the wash chambers, to installing components and parts, to packing and palletizing components of the cleaning systems. In between, they help out as a team when an extra hand is needed.
Teamwork is very important here. Hans Richiero and Kurt Thut appreciate this and the collegial relationship, also with the younger employees. The question arises as to whether they sometimes give the young people tips on the way and whether they are able to accept them. The two reply spontaneously and honestly: "We can't give our young colleagues much more advice. They are strong and top in their fields of work."
Kurt Thut often thinks about the customer when he's working, "After all, he's the one who pays our wages. We have to work in such a way that the customer is satisfied, that he receives top quality." And Hans Richiero adds: "In insulation work, I always make sure that it looks nice, that when the customer walks up to the cleaning system, he gets a classy overall look. This sometimes means that we have to use more material to achieve a more beautiful solution. That then directly increases customer satisfaction."
The power pensioners are fully behind the GMP cleaning systems that are produced here at Müller Processing for the pharmaceutical industry: "How efficiently systems are created here, how much know-how flows in, how customer requirements are partly solved individually, what the cleaning systems can do in terms of functions, that is already unique and also makes us proud."
From time to time, they are asked by their colleagues why they are still working at their advanced age. Hans Richiero then says, "I work here because I enjoy working and chatting with my colleagues. And at my funeral, don't say that the geezer worked until he died. Just say he worked because it gave him pleasure." Kurt Thut adds that "it's nice to be retired and I don't have to work every day, but I get to work, in addition to spending time with my family - especially my five grandchildren. I deliberately chose to still work without still having to work."
The joy of work shines through in each of her answers. Even in their last one: "I guess we have to be able to do something to make them keep us," they both say in unison. "It feels good to volunteer. We enjoy it here. Otherwise, we wouldn't be doing this to ourselves." And again, they both laugh heartily.
Picture rights: © Müller Group (MVM Pack-Holding AG), Münchenstein, Switzerland