Aribitor Rules that UAW Workers Can Drink and Smoke Pot Without Fear

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A shocking news story a few years ago showed Chrysler workers drinking and smoking pot on their lunch break. They were suspended indefinitely at the time. Now a labor arbiter has ruled that they can get their jobs back. Huh?

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The above news report led to the termination of 13 employees and the suspension of two others. As promised in the video, Fox News has kept on this story and how it plays out at Chrysler (excuse the “GM” slip up by the reporter). They have found that a labor arbitrator last week sided “with the workers and allowed them to return to work at their old jobs this week.” It appears they will get their old jobs back, although no word on back pay.

Chrysler-Fiat issued a 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.

At the time of this video, Sept. 2010, we ran a longer post that included the video – The UAW Will Forever Handicap Ford, GM, and Chrysler. We restate our belief that it isn’t the average worker who is the problem, it is the system that the UAW has created. News stories like this reinforce our belief that this system is flawed and companies should have the final say when hiring and firing employees.

Simply put, these workers don’t deserve their jobs back.

What do you think? Do you side with the workers/UAW or with Chyrsler-Fiat?

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  1. Mickey says:

    I agree they don’t get their jobs back. Arbitor should buy the vehicles these guys make after being stoned. I don’t know Michigan law but in most states it’s against the law and in federal court too. So the company should have that right because it happened on their grounds. Also in moist states the company can lose their license and property.

  2. ricqik says:

    Hate to see peeps lose their jobs but self infliction is ones own fault. no wonder the domestic trails toyota in quality.

  3. LJC says:

    The fact is this conduct can happen again. What’s worse is if these employees act like this, do they really care about the quality of work they do? We all know the answer to that. Allowing them to return to work only shows the dark side of the union to which they belong and does nothing but degrade the product they build. I’m glad I don’t own a Fiat product.
    The union, in this case, is producting the wrong people.

  4. BriBri says:

    This is the problem with arbitration, and unions in general. The company hires and pays these people. Therefore, the employees should be expected to conform to the workplace policies/standards established by the company. If they violate those policies, they should be subject to termination. Enough said.

    The situation that is occurring in Michigan is absolutely disgraceful. It’s no surprise that many union folk are lazy, dishonest, selfish leeches (I’m trying to be polite here) who want an easy, undisciplined lifestyle. The irrationality and violence they are exhibiting during their ‘protests’ only go to further tarnish their reputation. Their actions should be the impetus for more states to enact right-to-work legislation.

    Maybe once these union folks realize that if they want to live, they will have to ‘earn’ their wages instead of feeling that they are ‘entitled’ to them, then we might see some sanity, dignity, and respect brought back to our manufacturing industries.

    • BriBri,

      It is really the system the unions have created which sent manufacturing jobs overseas in the first place. I say, karma is coming back to those same unions. As manufacturing tries to re-grow in this country, it is to be seen how much of a role unions will play.


  5. mk says:

    Unions were needed back in the pre 80’s decades to fight for fair labor rights and equal treatment, etc. Since mid 80’s on up, Unions are a joke and pretty much not needed in most instances, but not all. They do more harm than good and these jokers should be fired and not hired back no question about it. Heck, we cannot even leave the building at work or go outside anymore NOT even on break without asking permission from our supervisor it is like a prison – totally serious on that. I do not smoke, but I agree with the smokers that they should be allowed to go outside on their breaks/lunch and smoke outside the building. Pretty soon where I work we will have to pee in a cup and not allowed to go potty it is becoming a joke. They even have a rule where in a warehouse setting with me in the office I cannot wear shorts after Oct. 1st even if 100 degrees outside. I wore them once when hot out in October and they told me the rule is Oct. 1st. I said send me home, I’m not coming back then, don’t care. Like a prison I tell you. Fricking idiots in charge where I work should be fired, not me!

    • BriBri says:

      Have you considered getting another job? Where you are now can’t be good for your health.

      I am not a fan of employers who take employees for granted, or exercise unreasonable authority over workers just to inflate their own egos. Nor am I a fan of the multitude of policies/rules/provisions I see in UAW contracts, which clearly create an environment for union workers to slack off at work.

      Where I work, I am employed to support the ‘needs of the business’. So, for example, when 12noon rolls around, if I am in the middle of working on something, I don’t just drop everything and head for the door. I finish what I am doing. Often, I eat lunch at my desk and continue working. Also, I have participated in many ‘working lunches’ and other meetings that (subject to people’s availability) can only be scheduled during the 12pm to 1pm time slot. Moreover, I normally work more than 8 hours per day, but don’t get paid more than my regular salary (none of this time-and-a half or double-time stuff). I like to think that my efforts in this regard make my company more successful, and thus I am usually rewarded come raise/promotion/bonus time. In a company with 27K + employees around the world, my attitude is a bit altruistic. But, I was raised with a ‘Protestant work ethic’.

      My wife, on the other hand, is a middle school teacher, and a ‘proud’ member of the teacher’s union. The ‘benefits’ she enjoys are part of the union (under the union contract) are not what I consider commesurate with her position, and I sometimes playfully tease her about them. For example, aside from all of the vacation and holiday time she gets off, she also ‘accrues’ 1.5 sick days per month (so, in effect, she gets 18 sick days off per year), which she can take whenever she wants simply by calling a central, automated substitute-teacher request line. I will concede that on some days she puts in more than 8 hours of ‘work’, from preparing for class, grading papers at home, and attending school functions. But, I still feel the salaries and benefits these teachers enjoy far outweigh the type, amount, and quality of work they perform. Perhaps, this is why we see an ever-increasing rise in charter and other private schools.

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