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Chrysler workers fired for drinking now back on job against automaker's wishes [w/video]

Posted Dec 10th 2012 9:58AM

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Chrysler workers drinking on the job

As much as Chrysler would like to "move on," it seems that the story of employees who drink on the job just refuses to die. The latest? According to Fox 2 News in Detroit, the 13 workers who were fired in 2010 after its cameras caught them drinking alcohol and smoking what looks to be marijuana in a park during work hours have been reinstated following arbitration.

Chrysler released the following statement:

"Chrysler Group LLC acknowledges the reinstatement of a number of employees from the Jefferson North assembly plant who were discharged from the company in September 2010 after appearing in a local TV station's story about their off-duty conduct."

While the company does not agree with the ultimate decision of the arbitrator, we respect the grievance procedure process as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement and our relationship with the UAW. Unfortunately, the company was put in a very difficult position because of the way the story was investigated and ultimately revealed to the public. These employees from Jefferson North have been off work for more than two years. The time has come to put this situation behind us and resume our focus on building quality products that will firmly establish Chrysler Group's position in the marketplace."

Clearly, Chrysler isn't pleased with this outcome, and we don't blame them one bit. The automaker declined to comment when Fox asked if the workers received compensation for the two years they were suspended without pay and ultimately fired.

How could an arbitrator possibly side with the fired workers? Much like the automaker itself, we're at a loss for words. A video report from Fox can be seen below.

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13 Comments

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Economist_101

Enormous error .. arbitrator will be the one who ends who -- justly -- deserves to be in the unemployment line. Can not imagine how the union will weather this one -- it will end up (again unjustly) hurting the company image. The fall out will be incredible on this one. Horrible and disrespectful behavior and they get away with it with the help of the union and arbitrator -- unacceptable behavior by both parties.

December 12 2012 at 1:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bob

explains my car 2006 magnum on its third front end and ignition fell apart Chrysler quality

December 11 2012 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robert Guy

Both the booze and smoking pot are an illness, little wonder this country is in the mess it's in.
If health and safety came into a plant where workers were drinking and smoking pot , what do
you think the outcome would be.
This also means any employee can go to the unemployment office and sign on for benefits as
they are ill !!!!
We are ill for allowing this to happen, this country has been brought to it's knees by trying to accommodate
customs and traditions from other countries while letting go of our own customs.
Common sense has to prevail ( eventually ) I hope when it's not too late.

December 11 2012 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
phvee12

It was the unions that brought the british car makers to their knees and effectively put themselves out of work.

December 11 2012 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
atonypro

Arbitrators in some places are chosen from the very ranks of the people that they have to set rulings about. Hello!!!

December 11 2012 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alex

This will cause a dismissal for cause with any other employer. Why an automaker is any different?

December 11 2012 at 12:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cjb3phillips

How did they do it? Well alcoholism is considered an illness, not a grounds to be fired, shame huh. Well did they get paid for their time off, more than likely they got paid, after all they won their grievance, which basically said sure you did what you did, but we can't fire you for that behaviour, you need assistance to overcome the isse. Just a guess, maybe thats how it happened or something close to this.. thanks to a union.

December 11 2012 at 9:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jake Romeo

what a joke,actually it's no laughing matter. What kind of a union would stand behind something like this? I think actions like these would make people weary about buying Chrysler products, I know that I would not take my vehicle to a drunken and or stoned mechanic to have repairs made, or any kind of work done. With the wages that the auto workers are getting, they can afford to drink and do drugs, while others are lucky to keep food on their tables , BUT, THEY SHOULD HAVE THE DECENCY NOT TO DO IT AT WORK. Instead of drinking on their lunch break, they should take in an A A meeting..

December 11 2012 at 7:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nanaofmysky

OMG...........and these are the men who are building the cars. If you look at their cars who can see they drink all the time. What is wrong with people? They are most likely still drinking on their lunch breaks and going back to work. Hope the company keeps an eye on them.

December 11 2012 at 5:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
marymary_115

As someone who has worked very closely with the CAW the Canadian equivalent of the UAW, I can tell you without a doubt that these workers were brought back with full back pay from their initial investigative suspension. In other words they got a 2 year fully paid vacation and they were negotiated back. Those of you who do not drink or smoke illicit drugs on your lunch hour, rest assured that you lost something to negotiate these people back to work. I truly, truly believe in union, but this is wrong and it happens all the time. As to the arbitrators. They themselves are in a positon of self protection. They have to weigh evenly for the company or the union or they may not be invited back to arbitrate. Its a big money position. It BS I know this. I

December 10 2012 at 11:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply