$42,000 Raised for Factory Worker Who Walks 21 Miles to Work

Transportation can be an enormous impediment in getting to and from Robertson walk to workwork, especially in cities that aren’t commuter friendly. One Detroit man, however, doesn’t let the distance keep him away from his factory job.

Factory worker James Robertson, 56, walks 21 miles round trip to his job at an industrial molding plant. Although he catches the bus, it only takes him part of the route to his job.

Robertson only earns a little over $10 an hour and says that’s not enough to buy a car, but he’s not bitter. The factory worker, who works for a company that produces parts for the maker of Humvee cars, says he enjoys his coworkers and his job. And his boss says Robertson is always at work and doesn’t make excuses.

“I set our attendance standard by this man,” said his boss Todd Wilson to the Detroit Free Press. “I say, if this man can get here, walking all those miles through snow and rain, well, I’ll tell you, I have people in Pontiac 10 minutes away and they say they can’t get here — bull! He’s never missed. I’ve seen him come in here wringing wet.”

What is most amazing about this story is that Robertson has gone on like this, walking 21 miles a day, for 10 years. That’s when his Honda Accord broke down and he had to make a choice between walking to work or being unemployed. No matter the weather, Robertson takes the bus and then walks to work, five days a week.

“I sleep a lot on the weekend, yes I do,” he said, “but I can’t imagine not working.”

He says he can’t catch a ride with co-workers because none of them lives near him.

Now, however, it looks like Robertson is done walking to work since some people who knew of his situation raised over $42,000 as part of an online campaign for him to buy a car.

People who raised the money said they were just impressed by his determination.





26 Comment

  1. Wow, okay that really puts things in perspective!

  2. He is probably healthier too than most of us

  3. If most of us would have this man's attitude about life responsibilities, we would be a wealthier people. I wish I can have him as my employee. That's the kind of person businesses are looking for, but it appears people with his qualities are on the down swing. Nothing will discourage this person. Reminds me of my ancestors who worked every day and was always at work on time. This is the kind of story I love to read about, because it encourage me to do better.

  4. Best story of 2015!

  5. First, James your an inspiration and I applaud you! second, you make no excuses work comes first n your always there! James there is nothing else 2 say but your the man!

  6. Hats off to you sir, you the real mvp!

  7. Yes this man is a hard worker, but I would have hoped by now that he would have decided to seek work at a company that appreciates its loyal employees and gives them a a fair living wage. No one should be working at a company for over 10 years and still making $10 an hour, especially at job which requires skills. This is the main reason why Unions are necessary.

  8. God couldn't put a better person on this earth to try to be like then MR James Robertson. I've done this and it's not easy believe me . God Bless you love you man.

  9. Ive heard stories about my great-great aunt and my great grandmother walking 7 miles to work, from Indio,Ca to Palm Dessert to do domestic work for wealthy white folks, this was in the 1940's. So much for progress. I have a problem with the company Mr. Robertson is working for. It is absurd that he has worked for this company over 10 years and earns " a little over $10" an hour. When most folks read this story they forget about that part. Hard work is beautiful and honorable, but people who work hard should be compensated for it. In the past factory workers were paid a living wage and received fair salary increases, now its all about working folks hard a paying them as little as possible.

  10. The man is dealing with job security, by any means necessary, even if he as to walk till him pants fall off, its ruff out here good for you my brother your the poster child about survival in America and Canada.

  11. Wow god keep bless this man.

  12. God bless you baby!

  13. Amen Sir, I moved to Chicago without family and not much money but God has kept me, I'd give anything just to have a job asap. This is an awesome story. God Bless Him.

  14. I agree, he should be paid more.

  15. I wonder if the people that raised the money online are co-workers? Did the company and his boss donate anything at all? Ten years is a long time for a company/boss to turn a blind eye to someone else's struggles. And I wonder what the boss is driving?

  16. Most companies do not care about employees when I worked in production I worked everyones job who I supervised so I could understand there hardships on the job. I walked in the employees shoes.

  17. He could get a bicycle, but I give much respect not only about the attitude toward work, but toward life. If he has mobility and great lungs for the next 15 years while his contemporaries are wheezing and confined to wheelchairs there will be no mystery.

  18. I am not a fan of hand outs, and this situation is a little exaggerated to me. I run 40-50 miles a week. I am approaching fifty. I believe $42k is too much money raised for a vehicle. A bike would of sufficed just as nice. I hope sincerely hope he appreciate the effort people have donated for him, by giving back in the future.

  19. It's not like the man was asking for a handout if he been walking 21 miles round trip, 5 days a week for over 10 years! That money was donated so that James Robertson can get to work in 35 minutes or less, versus him getting to work in 3 or more hours. James Robertson could not afford to buy a vehicle making $10.00 an hour. The car he had broke down on him. And instead of him not working at all, he walked to work. There's nothing wrong with people helping a brother out when he needs help, regardless whether he asked for help or not! There was a time when people came together and helped each other out, and it didn't take nobody no damn 10 years to help a brother or a sister out if and when they could help out! That's what people and communities are suppose to do when someone needs help. It seems to me that you are 'player hating', Butch! You seem like you have some 'hateration' in your game!

    But, good for you if you run 40-50 miles a week and you are almost 50 years old. But, James Robertson is not trying to run for exercise. He's been to walking to work because he don't have a car, and public transportation does not take him closer to work. Therefore, he has to walk the rest of the way!…

    More than $42,000.00 is not a 'handout'! It's a 'helping hand'! A good vehicle that will last a good while will cost around $40,000 or $50,000 dollars. That's not too much money to raise to help somebody buy a car and pay for future repairs and upkeep. I wonder what your comments would be if someone was raising that much money for you to get a car?…

  20. Where there's a will, there's a way!

  21. Joan Brown ur absolutely correct…no one making $10 an hr. Can afford a car, so it also means he can't afford the maintenance on a car either, insurance, and gas. I would rather these donates use the$42,000 on a house closer to this job. Now addressing helping him out, a home closer to work would be better, than a vehicle. Remember a car is a privilege not necessary. U need to understand this. Insurance will run him $200 a month.

  22. SHAME on the company owner, absolutely pathetic, that a person works for him 10 years and he pay's just a few cents over minimum wage,,, pathetic

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