Chrysler announced that it has fired 13 employees who were caught drinking and smoking pot during their lunch hour by a local Detroit TV station. Two other employees have been suspended for a month without pay.
(Earlier story is here.) “As is evidenced by the swift action taken in this matter, it should be clear that Chrysler Group will not tolerate such behavior and will continue to evaluate its protocols to ensure that something like this does not happen again,” the company said in a statement.
WJBK Fox 2 News in Detroit caught Chrysler autoworkers drinking alcohol and smoking what appear to be joints during their shifts at the automaker’s Jefferson North auto plant in Detroit.
There was some skepticism about how harsh the union-protected employees would be punished. Frankly, we here at Drive On thought there was a good chance they’d all get suspended and be back on the job once the dust settled.
The plant, which builds the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, was visited by President Obama just two months ago.
The investigation started five days after the president’s visit. The cameras caught workers leaving on their half-hour lunch break to head to the liquor store, and take off to a nearby park. The cameras even followed them into the liquor store to confirm the bottles in the bags were actually alcohol.
Chrysler’s strongly worded press release makes note of the recent auto bailout:
“It is unfortunate that the actions of a few people have called into question the reputation of more than 51,000 very proud, hard-working Chrysler Group employees, grateful that the American and Canadian taxpayers gave us a second chance,” they said. “We take that responsibility very seriously and will work to restore the public’s faith.”