Chrysler Rehires Workers Fired Over Booze Sting

By Sarah Beller 12/10/12

The auto company has been forced to rehire 13 workers canned for on-the-job substance use.

The workers lost their jobs for "goofing off"
at lunch.
Photo via

This week, Chrysler had to rehire 13 workers they fired two years ago after Fox news reporters exposed their on-the-job boozing and pot-smoking. In 2010, a group from MyFoxDetroit secretly videotaped autoworkers from the Jefferson North assembly plant on their lunch break. The video revealed workers drinking “from bottles covered in brown paper bags,” smoking what “appeared to be marijuana” and “goofing off.” Once Fox aired their sting, Chrysler fired 13 workers and suspended 2 others, perhaps partially under pressure from the recent auto-industry bailout, and a visit to the plant from President Obama just months before. A recent arbitration decision forced Chrysler to rehire the workers, though the automaker declined to comment when asked if they would receive compensation for their two years without pay. “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," said the company in a statement. The decision has set off a storm of outrage and anti-union backlash on the web, but many others are coming down on Fox for their Big Brother approach. One commenter stated: “I wonder how many of the executives have a few drinks during their lunch breaks…Is it OK to drink if your lunch is in a fine restaurant with a maitre'd and a sommelier?”

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix
Sarah Beller.png

Sarah Beller is a writer and the Executive Director at Filter. She has written about drug policy with a focus on harm reduction for Substance.comThe Fix and Salon. She has worked as a social worker with formerly incarcerated people in New York for a number of years. Her writing has also appeared in McSweeney’sThe HairpinThe ToastReductressThe Rumpus and other publications. You can find Sarah on Linkedin and Twitter.