The elimination of shifts is an increasingly common occurrence at assembly plants. Automakers will usually cut a shift to reduce its growing inventory of slow-selling vehicles, and Chrysler's got a few of those right now. In the days leading up to its third shift elimination, however, Chrysler's assembly plant in Belvidere, IL has become an increasingly hostile environment. Rumors of vandalism and even threats of violence have occurred, which has prompted Chrysler to call in police officers. The boys and girls in blue are patrolling the parking lots and checking workers' bags on their way into the factory.

The Belvidere plant produces the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass, and the shift elimination that will end the assembly careers of some 1,069 UAW workers, has reportedly been planned for some time. Still, that apparently doesn't dull the sting of watching your buddies walk out the door for the last time. What's particularly worrisome for car buyers is the possibility that disgruntled workers on their way out could sabotage the quality of a car headed to a dealer lot somewhere. Hopefully Chrysler puts some extra checks and balances in place to ensure every Caliber, Patriot and Compass that leaves the line is free of any mechanical retribution.

[Source: The Detroit News, Photo by Scott Olson/Getty]

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