Union “victory”: Chrysler reinstates 13 workers fired for drinking on the job. An arbitrator decided there was “insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold the dismissals.” They were fired two years ago after being filmed by a local TV station “drinking and smoking what the network suggested was a controlled substance before and during work.” Maybe if they had offered the arbitrator a toke… Nah.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

CO2Insanity December 11, 2012 at 8:47 pm

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Sounds more like the arbitrator had a bong full before he made the ruling.

Not so silent December 11, 2012 at 10:10 pm

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Great, wonder how many Chrysler/Jeep products are assembled by a doped up drunk? My dad bought a Dodge back in the 70′s which was a switch from his Buick Lesabre that he drove for years. The Buick’s transmission fell out of the car going down the highway, it seems some drunk at GM forgot to put the bolts in, so he buys a Dodge, has a rattle in the door, three trips to the dealer to find two empty Budweiser cans in the door behind the door panel. Look for the union label..yea right…..

poppajoe49 December 12, 2012 at 7:49 am

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wonder how many Chrysler/Jeep products are assembled by a doped up drunk

All of them.
Why do you think I’ll never buy another Chrysler product?
The damned things are pieces of crap.

Navyvet2 December 12, 2012 at 8:05 am

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Amen to that. Some years ago I had a Dakota and a Durango at the same time. What a complete nightmare. It got so that when ever I saw a Dodge on the street I assumed it was either heading for the mechanic or coming from the mechanic.
The least Chrysler could do is put heated tailgates on their trucks so that your hands can be warm when you push them in the winter.
Those two vehicles were a lifetime supply of Chrysler products for me. For years now I have refused to buy a union built vehicle and have to say my problems have greatly diminished.

flashingscotsman December 12, 2012 at 9:52 am

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When I went to buy a new diesel truck in ’02, I did my research to see what kind of recalls had been going on. The Dodge trucks DO have a better engine than my Ford, but the number of safety related recalls was off the chart. So I bought the Ford.

GM was never an option in my mind. A good friend, who happened to be a sales team leader at the local Chevy dealer said he’d make me a great deal if I stopped by. I told him there was one fatal fault on ALL of his trucks. The bowtie.

poppajoe49 December 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm

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The tailgate heater would be the first thing to break.

jacksman December 11, 2012 at 11:14 pm

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Just one more reason not to buy! Ford all the way. They have there issues but one is not having to keep druggies building the cars we all are near everyday.

moudoka December 12, 2012 at 4:18 am

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What a victory. Get drunk at work, get fired for unsafe practices, not to mention being intoxicated…and they are given their jobs back. Forward!

RobertW December 12, 2012 at 7:20 am

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will they get back-pay?

Sidekick December 12, 2012 at 7:23 am

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Shouldn’t they?

flashingscotsman December 12, 2012 at 10:02 am

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Most likely.

In my union, we had a crane operator that bumped the edge of the bridge with his boom. That’s serious stuff. The booms are VERY highly stressed. He had to go for a mandatory pee test. They found traces of cocaine, gave him a month off and made him complete drug counseling. A couple of years later, a similar incident, same operator. Fired, no questions asked. And he knew better than to go to the union over it.

MGAP December 12, 2012 at 6:39 am

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I will chime in with another view here. I’m subject to random UA and alcohol testing for DOT workers. If I were to fail one of these, the conditions of continued employment are pretty stringent. There is mandatory rehab, mandatory AA or NA meetings. The company puts the guy on scheduled drug/alcohol screening and they can come to your house for random testing. i think it lasts for three years before they lighten up a bit and stop coming to your home. Before all of this happens, the employee is given a letter of resignation that the employee must sign. If the employee fails any portion of the company program, they tender the resignation letter to the union and the employee is history, no recourse, no hearings, done.

The logic is the comapny has spent a crapton of money training us and it is in everyone’s best interest to give the guy a second chance. More important than that is to give the person a chance at rehab to get their alcoholism or substance abuse under control, giving them a shot at a normal life.

I’m not sure how the program works for these workers, but I hope it is similar and they are getting help with their issues and not just a continued free ride on the company dime.

Sidekick December 12, 2012 at 7:10 am

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Honestly, why is there continued employment as an option if safety is supposed to be the overarching concern? Repeat offender kills someone and it is the company or agency that gets sued. We have a surplus labor force today. I say hire the sober guys.

MGAP December 12, 2012 at 7:23 am

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Well, the entire DOT random testing program is pretty much a joke anyway. Before this provision got put into our contract, we were simply terminated. It happened fairly often and the guys would just go to work for another airline and continue their bad habits. DOT testing does not provide for means to remove people from the industry.

I know a guy who left us (fired for pot) ,went to Southwest, went to USAIR and is currently working for a crappy freight outfit in NC. Like the TSA, DOT random drug testing is window dressing that does not address the issues for which it was created.

MGAP December 12, 2012 at 7:29 am

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Now that pot is legal in some states, I expect to see the random DOT testing to get challenged in court. If it’s legal for some, why not all will be the challenge. The challenge for DOT will be to prove if someone is under the influence ( of pot ) at work. Legalizing pot in some states opened a can of worms…

flashingscotsman December 12, 2012 at 10:17 am

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Alcohol is legal, and they can still test for that, so that argument against legalized pot doesn’t fly.

As far as I’m concerned, with your industry, and mine, MGAP, you’re right. If there’s ANY reason to suspect, or in the case of ANY accident, drug test immediately. Drug test before hiring, and randomly during employment. If a person shows positive, put them in a position that doesn’t affect anyone’s safety, and lower their pay, let them work their way back up. Drug tested all the way.

My union leadership fought tooth and nail against drug testing, while the membership was fine with it. I spend most of my career on the ground, directing the equipment. You think I want the guy in the seat to be high, or drunk? I have gladly and proudly peed in hundreds of bottles. Glad that they’re doing the testing, and proud to turn in a clean sample every time.

rabbit December 12, 2012 at 7:05 am

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I hope you are the one he kills on the job!!!

RobertW December 12, 2012 at 7:28 am

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i had to think before i gave you a ut.
one wonders why the epa isn’t turned towards rooting out industrial infractions that impact the humans in the environment.

MGAP December 12, 2012 at 7:57 am

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Who are you hoping gets killed on the job by whom?

flashingscotsman December 12, 2012 at 10:19 am

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That was my question.

Elrond Hubbard December 12, 2012 at 7:13 am

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Another triumph for collective bargaining! Nothing says quality like a car built by drunken stoners. Just another reason why I haven’t driven a UAW made car since 1981…the last one was a Chevy Citation which fell apart over a two year period.

Sidekick December 12, 2012 at 7:17 am

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My mother bought a 1980 Citation new. Our family still marvels at how bad that car was.

Navyvet2 December 12, 2012 at 8:22 am

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Remember the quality built Shove-it, er I mean Chevette. I only rented them but what a POS. Then there was the Corvair, the Nova (appropriately named. Nova is Spanish for doesn’t run or work) the Vega, Aveo, all junk. Now they have something called a Spark (it must erupt in flames occassionally) and a Sonic. Based on GM’s spectacular record with small cars and now being built by government employees, I can’t believe every liberal doesnt have one or two.

flashingscotsman December 12, 2012 at 10:26 am

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The Vega was the beginning of GM’s downfall, in my opinion.

I worked a couple years in one of the few Southern California machine shops that was equipped to rebuild Vega engines. It took some expensive and highly specialized machinery just to take them apart, because GM went so crazy with making the engine defy logic.

Hmmmm, cast iron cylinders and aluminum pistons have been doing a GREAT job for decades, let’s make our have aluminum cylinders and cast iron pistons! Brilliant!

poppajoe49 December 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

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The only thing a Vega was good for was putting an L-88 Corvette engine in, along with the appropriate transmission and rear end.

Progressive Hemrrhoid December 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm

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Just gotta love the Unions, anywhere else somebody who gets caught burning a joint and guzzling a beer at work gets shown the door. Hell some places are firing people for smoking a Cigarette on company property.

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