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article imageFox investigation of Chrysler finds employees drinking on breaks

By Kim I. Hartman     Jul 14, 2011 in Business
Detroit - For the second time in less then a year Fox news in Detroit has conducted an investigation at a Chrysler plant and captured employees on video tape drinking and smoking on the job during their lunch break.
WJBK Fox 2's Rob Wolchek recently took his investigation of Chrysler workers on the road, this time to Trenton, Michigan, to an engine manufacturing plant and filmed a number of workers spending their lunch break in a parking lot guzzling beers and smoking both 'hand-rolled cigarettes' and from pipes that are commonly used to smoke marijuana.
This is the second time Wolchek has busted Chrysler employees throwing back beers on the job and smoking what Fox reported to be marijuana. Last September a group of union workers were spotted outside Chrysler's Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan, drinking alcoholic beverages during their afternoon dinner break, as reported by Digital Journal.
Wolchek was notified of the bad behaviour of the small group of union workers by their fellow Chrysler workers from the Jefferson North Plant last year, and set out to investigate the matter. His investigation resulted in the immediate suspension and subsequent firing of at least thirteen union autoworkers, reports Fox Detroit.
The drinking and smoking was not limited to the Detroit plant, said Wolchek. He received two separate tips that led him to the plant in Trenton, Michigan, where he was able to film Chrysler workers consuming alcohol and smoking during their lunch, and in one case before reporting to work. In the New Jersey investigation the autoworkers congregated in a parking lot that is across the street from the United Auto Workers (UAW) union hall and maintained by the UAW.
Fox notes the Jefferson North Assembly Plant is the same plant visited by President Barack Obama last year days after bailing out the bankrupt automaker. At the time of his visit to the Detroit plant, a few days before the investigation began, Obama said to cheering Chrysler autoworkers, "I believe that if each of us were willing to work and sacrifice in the short term -- workers, management, creditors, shareholders, retirees, communities -- it could mark a new beginning for a great American industry."
After the investigation video was broadcast by Fox Detroit, the UAW, who strongly opposes the use of drugs and alcohol on the job, warned union locals in other states of the situation. But this failed to stop the partying by the Trenton Engine Plant workers during their breaks, said the Fox reporter.
Scott Garberding, senior vice president of manufacturing, told Fox News:
"I just want to say I am both hurt and angered over what your cameras captured. Again, we have Chrysler workers in a compromised position, without regard for the impact of their actions, the reputation of their coworkers, the plant, of the company, not to mention their own reputation and that of their families. We have a code of conduct at Chrysler and some of the activities that we saw in your video are clearly outside of the code of conduct and unacceptable. The employees that we identify will be suspended indefinitely without pay and anybody else involved will be dealt with swiftly. It's very frustrating to us, we take it very seriously. We have a lot of very committed folks at Chrysler. We are very proud of our team. We have some folks who apparently do not want to be part of that team."
The video of the Fox investigation at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant can be seen here.
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