This is nearly unbelievable. An arbitrator in Detroit, Michigan, has just reinstated 13 Chrysler workers who were caught drinking in the job.

It all started back in 2010 when a Fox news affiliate filmed them drinking and smoking “what looked to be marijuana” during working hours. Here’s the announcement from Chrysler about the reinstatement:

Chrysler Group LLC acknowledges the reinstatement of a number of employees from the Jefferson North assembly plant who were discharged from the company in September 2010 after appearing in a local TV station’s story about their off-duty conduct.

Chrysler is unhappy about the ruling, but the union has such power that there’s nothing they can do but reinstate the offenders:

While the company does not agree with the ultimate decision of the arbitrator, we respect the grievance procedure process as outlined in the agreement and our relationship with the UAW.

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.

That’s how the union operates, “protecting” its workers and “justifying” its enforced collection of dues from its members: “We’re there for you! Now go back to work.”

As Mark Perry correctly notes:

Maybe the sad lesson here is that the UAW has so much power that it can even protect workers who have been filmed repeatedly violating company policies by drinking in public during work hours, in addition to engaging in illegal activities (smoking weed). With that kind of protection against bad behavior, maybe those union dues are worth paying?

Seriously, this seems to be a case that represents the worst side of labor union power, and illustrates why a “right-to-work Michigan” will make the state a more business-friendly location, with a greater chance of attracting companies, business investment and to Michigan.

I couldn’t have said it better.

 

 

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