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.

UPDATE: Chrysler has further responded to this matter by issuing a longer, official statement on its media blog. You can also read the full response below.
Fox 2 News Headlines

Show full PR text
Response to Fox News Story Regarding Jefferson North Assembly Workers

by Scott Garberding
December 10, 2012 2:58 PM

We've seen a fair bit of social media discussion regarding the return to work of 13 Chrysler Group LLC employees who were dismissed from their jobs at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. We took that action after a September 2010 local news report exposed the workers' off-duty conduct.

The workers followed the grievance procedure process outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between Chrysler and the United Auto Workers. The Company denied all of the grievances, leading us to arbitrate the matter. After more than two years, an arbitrator decided in the workers' favor, citing insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold the dismissals. This was a decision that Chrysler Group does not agree with.

I want you to know that Chrysler Group does not condone, in any way, this type of misconduct, but we're in the tough spot of having to accept the arbitrator's decision, just as the Union must when the ruling is in the favor of the Company

We take great pride in the quality and safety of every Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat and SRT vehicle we build, and stand by it. The behavior of these 13 individuals is, in no way, indicative of the more than 27,000 men and women who work very hard, every day to build our cars and trucks.

Chrysler has invested millions to upgrade our manufacturing facilities and methods, through World Class Manufacturing. We take very seriously the fact that our company was given a chance to rebuild itself through the assistance of the federal government and the taxpayers.

I respectfully ask you to look at this situation as an unfortunate aberration and know that Chrysler does not take worker misconduct lightly. We will always pursue the strongest and most appropriate actions when this occurs.

We're building some wonderful and exciting cars and trucks with the highest degree of quality, safety, performance and styling. I ask you to give us the chance to prove to you that you can trust Chrysler Group products to serve you and your family well, and with confidence. Thanks so much.

Scott Garberding
Senior Vice President Manufacturing/World Class Manufacturing
Chrysler Group LLC


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 376 Comments
      Car Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      I worked in a UAW shop for 9 years and witnessed this same kind of garbage first hand. An employee was caught red handed stealing parts and was fired. After 30 days, a grievance was filed and he was given his job back -- with back pay! Unions had their place 50+ years ago when there were genuine workplace hazards. Today you have OHSA, EEOC, and the threat of lawsuits that keep workplaces safe. Unions are a relic of a bygone era and serve no useful purpose today except to capitalize on the greed of its membership.
      Diz
      • 2 Years Ago
      "THE UAW - Protecting America's most incompetent workers for over 80 years!"
      preacherdb
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow another banner day for personal responsibility!
      jfa1177
      • 2 Years Ago
      regardless of how the story broke, these a-holes clearly violated company policy. That, in and of itself, should have been enough to keep these guys off the line. Yet again the UAW shows why they have no reason to exist.
      ChrisTT
      • 2 Years Ago
      This doesn't happen in union shops in other countries. You steal, drink or smoke weed in a VW plant in Germany and you're fired.
      NightFlight
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bob King, you are such a great American. We love you, and the UAW is the best thing that has ever happened to the American automotive industry. /sarcasm Someone, please remind me, why is the UAW still around?
        Car Guy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        Because they are a major fundraising arm of the Democratic party...........
      Andre Neves
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's takes a really big loser to feel the need to drink during your work break. I mean seriously, how much of a lowlife do you have to be. I understand going out with coworkers somewhere to eat and maybe having a drink or something. But to sit in a parking lot or in your car with a bagged bottle? Wow.
      rlog100
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'll tell you this. These guys have no clue why 'right to work' legislation is being passed in Michigan as this goes up. They absolutely don't see a connection here.
      greenz1977
      • 2 Years Ago
      It really is pathetic that these guys got their jobs back. If going to work on an assembly line right after consuming alcohol is not a terminable offense, what is?
        Lars
        • 2 Years Ago
        @greenz1977
        But if I understand the press release and the local news story, Chrysler agrees with you, and me -- and probably would have liked to word it as concisely as you did.
      mr ortiz
      • 2 Years Ago
      that's the japaneese perception of american union workers,there is a movie about this in the 80's with Michael Keaton.
      x percent
      • 2 Years Ago
      I thought I'd buy the new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I own the 2012 and look forward to many significant improvements. Time to rethink this and maybe go back to Infiniti. I was happy to see Chrysler promptly fire these clowns but now what? I certainly don't want them building my car!
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      ...and if a drunk-stoned worker cuts off his hand during the shift, who is going to pay? As the manager for a union company, I see stories like this and just wonder why it's such a mystery to union leaders why they are fading from relevance.
        MJC
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Drakkon
        They need to fade from existence.
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