• Dec 11, 2012

News that Chrysler reinstated more than a dozen workers who'd been caught by a local Detroit TV station drinking and smoking pot on their lunch break has lit up the Internet, prompting the automaker to issue two separate statements.

Chrysler fired the workers in September 2010 after Detroit Fox 2 filmed the men buying alcohol and then drinking and smoking in a public park. The TV station even caught them tossing empty cans into the grass before heading back to work.

The United Auto Workers union filed a grievance on behalf of the fired employees, and a third-party arbitrator sided with the union. They started back at Chrysler's Jefferson North plant in Detroit this week.

"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," wrote Scott Garberding, Chrysler's senior vice president of manufacturing, in the second statement.

The news broke Monday, while all eyes are on Michigan to see if the state will pass a controversial anti-union bill, called right-to-work. President Obama flew into Michigan Monday to put pressure on the state to vote against the bill, which weakens unions by draining funding from their coffers. Non-union employees can work side-by-side with union employees and yet not pay union dues (but still reap the benefits of union negotiations.)

The bill was pushed in a lame-duck session in a Republican-controlled state government. The issue will be voted on later today.

News of the rehirings is a black eye for both Chrysler and the unions. For Chrysler, it raises questions about what kind of people are building its cars -- even though the vast majority of Chrysler employees were not involved in the incident. And for the United Auto Workers, it raises questions about why they are defending workers who, in the public's eye, shouldn't get their jobs back.

"Unions often do tend to go too far to defend those who shouldn't necessarily be defended," said Phil Dines, author of "State of the Unions" in an interview on Fox Business News. But he defended the arbitration process: "We might not like the outcome in any trial or grievance process, but neither you or I saw the evidence."


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 497 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      Typical FOXNews: We have to get the little man fired for minor infractions while FOX's corporate master rape, murder, enslave, and plunder the world. I might give a damn about this story if it wasn't the rich and powerful picking on the small and weak.
      jlveer1125
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nothing in the video shows me ANY proof that validates this being an honest and true video. More than likely a "set-up" by FUAXNews
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not saying those boys drinkingand toking on lunch break isn't a black eye on the unions or the company, but where were the cameras when the exec's went out to drink theirs? This article does not tel lthe whole truth, Michigan already was a Right to work state, they passed a law for workers to WORK FOR LESS , union busting at it's best. What this article does not tell you about Non Union workers working next to Union workers is, yes they do benefit for Union negotiations, but let one of those "Rats" get in trouble, or fal lout of favor with his superiors and get fired, see if the union helps him, fact is...they do not have to and will not help them...no arbitration, just FIRED. Had those boys caught drinking and drugging been non union....they wouldn't be there now, and they wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Representation takes money, no pay....no representation other than glomming onto whatever the unions fight for, but that's how Rats are, No pills...just parasites
      bobtrhn
      • 2 Years Ago
      I guess some of you think it's ok to do this. It's just a matter of time before someone gets hurt or killed because of it. I sure wouldn't purchase a Chrysler.
      id0ntmind
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hey Huff P.O.S. Why don't you actually report something newsworthy??
      • 2 Years Ago
      How about two martini lunches that the execs get, not to mention a write off on their taxes as a business expense. You can't have it one way for execs and different for workers. By the way the lunches are unpaid. But of course Fox News would be the ones to drag this old **** up. ITS OLD NEWS...
      • 2 Years Ago
      Notice the cars they were driving when they drove off , a Ford Mustang and a Dodge Ram truck. Not a Chrysler!!! Just saying.
      Dave
      • 2 Years Ago
      Unbelievable! Unions have ruined/bankrupt the state of Michigan. The unions protected these turds at the expense of good hard working members. Sure hope they write in the The Right to work legislation into Michigan Law. People wonder why all the jobs have gone over seas and to other states. My brother is in a union and I commented to him: I hope your union takes better care of you that the union that put 17K+ employees out of work at Hostess. When they (Hostess) were in business the cost of a loaf of Wonder bread was twice the cost of their competitors. My brother replied we would rather be unemployed that take it in the a_s from greedy companies. I am willing to bet that those (Hostess) employees would rather have their old jobs back at their original salary, than collecting unemployment at maybe 25% of what they used to get. Wise up America, unions are a For profit organization at YOUR expense and care only about one thing......themselves, not their members.
      • 2 Years Ago
      What do you think management does, 3 martini lunchs, golf on so-called company time, etc. If anyone on this board has a LICK of COMMON SENSE[I KNOW, THEY DONT TEACH THIS IN COLLEGE] Yes WAKE UP AMERICA. SUIT AND TIES ARE THE RUIN OF AMERICA, Please wake UP...
      Chuck
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wager 6 to 1 these jerks voted Democrat!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why I drive all foreign cars, nuff said.
      bigcatdaddy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Now the workers will seek/get back pay.
    • Load More Comments