Chrysler workers who were fired or suspended two years ago after a MyFoxDetroit investigation found them drinking and goofing off during lunch break are back on the job.
MyFoxDetroit first aired the footage of the Chrysler workers in September 2010. Video showed them in a park during the work day, drinking alcohol from bottles covered in brown paper bags and smoking what appeared to be marijuana.
With the auto giant having recently received a federal taxpayer bailout, and President Obama having visited the plant where the employees worked just months earlier, Chrysler appeared to take a zero-tolerance attitude. The company fired 13 workers, and suspended two.
But MyFoxDetroit reports that following a union-backed arbitration process, the employees were reinstated. This week, they came back to work.
Chrysler said in a statement that it does not support the decision to bring back the workers but would like to move on.
“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 (United Auto Workers union),” the company said, according to MyFoxDetroit. “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."
The employees work at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant, which builds Jeep Cherokees.