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Workers at a Chrysler facility were caught drinking on ... Workers at a Chrysler facility were caught drinking on their lunch hour, then returning to work on vehicles in the assembly facility (Fox 2 News Detroit).

Chrysler has announced that all 15 of the employees who were allegedly drinking and smoking marijuana during their lunch break, as reported by a Detroit television crew, have been suspended indefinitely without pay. The workers were employed at the company’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in the city of Detroit. Over a ten-day period, the workers were spotted drinking during their lunch break and recorded by the TV crew. Chrysler says that all of the individuals involved had been identified and relieved of their duty within 36 hours of the company learning of the problem.

According to Jodi Tinson, the head of communications for Chrysler manufacturing and labor, any time a worker is found to be in violation of company policy on these issues, he or she is suspended without pay until the matter can be resolved. After an investigation, the company will make a decision on the guilt or innocence of each worker and reinstatement or termination will follow from there.

In an official statement, Chrysler said that while the video seems pretty cut and dry, it must adhere to its protocol when it comes to removing those workers permanently.

Judging from the Fox 2 News report, it appears the workers in question had made a regular habit of spending their lunch break at a local park throwing back beers and smoking marijuana, even with another full three hours of work ahead of them. Yet when asked if this type of behavior had been a problem in the past at either at the Jefferson North facility or at any of Chrysler’s other manufacturing plants, Tinson said that she wasn’t aware of any other instances of workers abusing drugs or alcohol and returning to work.

Skepticism aside, one has to wonder exactly what the workers featured in the video were responsible for at the plant.

“They worked on the line,” Tinson said. “But I think I’d rather not share any more specific detail.”

According to Chrysler, the Jefferson North plant sits on 283 acres with a total of 3 million square feet of space under one roof. Over 600 robots operate on 26.2 miles of conveyors alongside 2,833 workers split between two shifts. Recently, the plant’s workers went through extensive training totaling 45,000 hours as part of a $686 million dollar investment in the future of both the plant itself and the products it produces.

Right now, Chrysler manufactures its newest poster child for the company’s recovery effort, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, at the factory. The vehicle boasts both styling and a fit and finish that are on par or above competitive metal from Germany and Japan.

AOL Autos attempted to contact the United Auto Workers to learn how the union typically handles incidents of this kind, but unfortunately, the UAW is only issuing a prepared statement at this time. In it, the UAW condemns the use of drugs and alcohol on the job, saying that the type of behavior illustrated by the workers in the Fox 2 report puts other workers in danger and that it is uncharacteristic of the large majority of the unionized labor at Jefferson North. The union also said that it will work with Chrysler to ensure that its facilities remain both alcohol and drug free.

It would be nearly impossible to fathom how many vehicles could have been impacted, if indeed this handful of workers regularly returned to the job high, drunk or both. Chrysler made it clear that it wouldn’t share that information even if it were readily available. Even so, the company says that it doesn’t have any additional inspections planned due to the Fox 2 report.

“We have rigorous and redundant quality checks as [the vehicles] go along,” Tinson said. “Any vehicle that goes through our plant goes through those quality checks. I don’t think that the safety or the quality of those vehicles is in question.”



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  • 39 Comments
      • 5 Months Ago
      Not fair, a precedent has been set, because this has been going on for years and everyone knew about it and allowed it..it is now like an unwritten policy that those that want can go drink and smoke grass during lunch hour and I bet a good lawyer could beat this...this is America and the union has rights...FIGHT THIS...
      fark6
      • 5 Months Ago
      hey all you people who like to bitch about how us automakers need a break at work to ease our minds from the hassel they give us in the plants, I work at GM and do as the same as these others from chrysler, it is unsafe to be in some of these factory's as they the (mang.) just don't care about your health !!! so stop bitching and just keep buying the auto's so I can keep on partying !!!
      R Brown
      • 5 Months Ago
      My uncle work on the line for Chrysler for 25 years, and I don't think he had 1 day that he didn't drink beer at lunch. There were 5 bars across the street and every day they did 30% of the days take at lunch. Not new, not even news. Everyone knows someone who abuses alcohol or drugs, why do you believe they don't during the day? It's the American way!
      crash
      • 5 Months Ago
      this is called a diversion,,,this is to hide the fact the the corp is shipping work related issues of the premisise ,being repaired and brought back to the facility,non union
      • 5 Months Ago
      NO American cars aren't built better, THEY are built CHEAPER!!!!! Check your facts....Toyota is number one in quality and reliability , not my opions. THE FACTS. and before you say something about the gas pedal, Research it, it turns out that it was not that problem at all. Honda is number 2 on the list, in fact, honda saved my life.....just because we live in the USA doesn't mean we are the best. Other countries do give free health care, child care education and so on so on...RESEARCH
        • 5 Months Ago
        We give free health care too. For the lackadaisical people on welfare!!!!!
      camjetd
      • 5 Months Ago
      Look at the bright side. The guys that were caught are not airline pilots or surgeons!!
      camjetd
      • 5 Months Ago
      Why are Chrysler workers being singled out? What about Ford & GM? I"m sure the same goes on at those plants too. And you can rest assured the white collars do the same on their breaks & during working hours too. I could smell it on their breath. I used to work at an auto assembly plant. That is how I know. The white collars are where the media can't get at them. They wouldn't be allowed in the plant if they knew the media wanted to do a story about drinking on the job. Shame on you Rod Wolchek. You are so narrowminded that you could peek through a keyhole with both eyes. Your story was biased and incomplete.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Unless you have worked at a Chrysler plant, you have no idea what goes on in their highly secure buildings. It is easy to look only at the parking lot. The harassment and belittling which takes place on a daily basis and is practiced by the top management on down, well...I don't condone drinking and drugging on work hours, but you reap what you sow Chrysler management.
      • 5 Months Ago
      I bet the camera crew and reporters of the media do the same thing when they go to lunch. Is it wrong yes ,but we all know that someone somewhere does this in every field and in every industry.The real issue should be if the workers are endangering there co-workers while underthe influence.
      RON
      • 5 Months Ago
      YOU REALLY NEED TO GET ALL THE FACTS BEFORE WE PASS JUDGEMENT. OR SHOULD WE BELIEVE THE NEWS MEDIA. WE ALL KNOW HOW RIGHT THEY ARE ALL THE TIME. ASK THE PEOPLE AND NEWS MEDIA ABOUT THE BP OIL SPILL.
      • 5 Months Ago
      That was the day after Obama made a speech there. I guess he was right soft and lazy best way to describe union worker. Now the unions have there claws in goverment jobs. Why do you need a union if you work for the goverment?
      • 5 Months Ago
      I love Chrysler cars. I only drive Chrysler cars and have found them to be reliable. I worked for Chrysler for 9 years and I never saw anyone I worked with involve themselevs in such stupid activites while at work during lunch. I hope those idiots learned from this. I can only imagine the affect these actions will have on their households and family! Better hope they are elgible for unemployment as well!
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