Video: Chrysler workers drinking, toking on the job

posted at 2:15 pm on September 23, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Nomally this kind of story wouldn’t be of much interest in politics. If a company’s workers start drinking and smoking marijuana on their breaks, it should be an issue for ownership and management. In this case, though,we are ownership, thanks to the huge government bailout that kept this Chrysler plant in operation.  Barack Obama made that same point just a couple of months ago in a splashy visit to garner the adulation of these workers, as the Detroit Fox affiliate reports in their exposé:

Fox 2′s Rob Wolchek got a tip about what some guys are doing at Chrysler’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. This is the same plant that President Barack Obama visited back in July and talked about the significance of manufacturing in America.

The same place where the President remarked on the tax-payer generated government loan saying “I believed 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. And if we could summon that sense of teamwork and common purpose, we could once again see the best cars in the world designed, engineered, forged, and built right here in Detroit, right here in the Midwest, right here in the United States of America.”

The big question here is this: were they stoned while Obama spoke, or did they feel the need to get stoned afterward?

Of course, this is obviously a very small number of employees conducting themselves in this manner, so it’s unfair to paint all of the workers at this plant with a broad brush.  It’s not unfair, though, to point out that management and supervision at this plant seems to have been completely unaware that these workers are building cars while intoxicated or at the least under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.  Perhaps that could explain the decisionmaking that led Chrysler into bankruptcy in the first place, and why betting on their recovery with billions in taxpayer dollars wasn’t such a hot idea at all.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Actually, I worked on the W-Car line and in the old fab plant.

Back in the day the parking lot on Friday afternoons looked like there was going to be a Rolling Stones or Grateful Dead concert happening. :-)

Caper29 on September 23, 2010 at 3:02 PM

I believe it. Some of the in plant “club houses” were nicer then the local homes surrounding the plant. It was easy for guys to spend 12 to 16 hours at work sitting on their asses in front of a television with a beer in their hand.

Shortly before 9/11 there was a half assed attempt to get televisions out of the plant. But when 9/11 happened no one said anything about the dozens of TVs being on, out in the open and each one surrounded by several employees. Although I would consider that a special circumstance.

NotCoach on September 23, 2010 at 3:09 PM

You heartless Tea Party bigots should be ashamed. These poor victims were clearly smoking medical marijuana due to their suffering through the 85 years of Bush Cheney.

faraway on September 23, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Stoners nationwide buy a jeep and if you get busted say its not mine a union guy must have left it there!

dhunter on September 23, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Are they hiring?

muckdog on September 23, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Don’t you love the litterbug throwing his empty bottle in the park. Liberals are the least “green” among us by littering and driving mini-vans & SUVs.

HellCat on September 23, 2010 at 3:18 PM

were they stoned while Obama spoke?

They were stoned when they voted.

Western_Civ on September 23, 2010 at 3:24 PM

That’s your 75.00 dollars a hour hard at work for you America.

Hummer53 on September 23, 2010 at 3:24 PM

This has been a big talking subject across all radio stations here in the Detroit area for two days. Many union workers have called in complaining that the story should not be aired fearing it will go national. They have stated many different excuses why but overall they are afraid that it will cause the buying public to move away from American cars again.

Only one union caller that I have heard, to WRIF radio, actually advocated that the stoners needed to be fired. Many others argued that they had problems that only the union medical programs can handle or that it was not booze and that they were smoking home rolled tobacco. Pathetic

mechkiller_k on September 23, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Oh, heck – I remember going to a comedy club in the early 80s and one of the comedians had been a line worker and talked about joints being smoked right on the line and passed along the line itself – then he asked didn’t we wonder why the Japanese cars were so much better! Got a huge laugh, that one did!

Queen0fCups on September 23, 2010 at 2:19 PM

That’s hilarious!

I remember being in Japan in the 80s and hearing that American products were crap because American workers were drunk and high half the time. Got a big chuckle out of that!

DarkCurrent on September 23, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Union workers never move as fast as when they are on break!

They will probably be held up as an example on how to get the most out of your lunch break and get back to work on time.

Bubba Redneck on September 23, 2010 at 3:28 PM

I foolishly owned a Jeep once. POS from day 1 to the day I sold it to another sucker (sorry btw). I learned my lesson quickly. That was my first and last American car.

angryed on September 23, 2010 at 3:35 PM

I know an auto worker who worked at a Chrysler assembly plant.

He said that he and some of the other workers would smoke joints while driving the propane-powered forklifts around the plant. The building was so large that no one ever noticed. Plus the fumes from the forklift would help cover up the odor.

Of course, this was a few years ago when smoking cigarettes was allowed inside the building.

UltimateBob on September 23, 2010 at 2:30 PM

i cannot beleive how many of you are surprised this is going on. i worked for a auto assm plant in delaware and on any night i would see crack coke herion lsd pot and alcohol use. not just on the floor but also in management. the unions dont (or didnt then) allow drug testing except for new hires. every job i have had has this going on its just a slow news day and they had to have something as filler. oh btw dont buy a durango new or used

larry harris on September 23, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Yep, they built the Durango at the the Newark, DE Chrysler plant. I was referring to that plant (now shut down) in my post above.

We probably know a lot of the same people.

UltimateBob on September 23, 2010 at 3:41 PM

No doubt the union is going to attack the press for exposing this.

ButterflyDragon on September 23, 2010 at 2:22 PM

That’s for sure. That reporter is a brave man. The union will likely have its thugs shoot the messenger, quite possibly literally.

KS Rex on September 23, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Did you notice that not one of them was driving a Chrysler?

Sefton on September 23, 2010 at 3:54 PM

I shun their rotten vehicles

RushBaby on September 23, 2010 at 3:55 PM

I believe the unions must be busted up if American Industry is to survive. The rats are giving them BILLION$ of our tax dollar$, a slice of which is then donated back to the rats to keep them in power to complete the circle. Gov Christie may be the only one with the Malkins big enough to say this, but I don’t think he’ll be ready for POTUS until 2016 or 2020.

They won’t go quietly though. I mean, look at what’s happening in France because the gov’t raised the mandatory retirement age to …gasp… 62!!!

Union Uprising: Million French Workers Take to Streets Protesting Pension Reform

ornery_independent on September 23, 2010 at 3:56 PM

I want that job!!!! Workers Unite. Worker’s paradise.

antisocial on September 23, 2010 at 4:04 PM

I want that job!!!! Workers Unite. Worker’s paradise.

antisocial on September 23, 2010 at 4:04 PM

With Obie’s economic polies millions have this kinda job..

Dire Straits on September 23, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Somebody’s gotta photoshop the Chrysler emblem with a ganj leaf in lieu of the star. Green jobs!

Christien on September 23, 2010 at 2:50 PM

You mean like this?

stoutcat on September 23, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Now with 40 oz cupholders!
Only in a Jeep.

Joe Mama on September 23, 2010 at 4:08 PM

were they stoned while Obama spoke?

They were stoned when they voted.

Western_Civ on September 23, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Yup.

Sanjoboy on September 23, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Man I’m so glad Obama threatened to destroy the Chrysler Bond Holders in the media if they didn’t give up their legal rights and go along with his plan.

management and supervision at this plant seems to have been completely unaware that these workers are building cars while intoxicated or at the least under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.

It’s not a surprise to mechanics. A cousin is a Master Mechanic and he maintains they are the worst built cars on the road. I am a car enthusiast and he entertains me with stories about the build and design defects. He says they look great but under the hood they are complete junk.

TheBigOldDog on September 23, 2010 at 4:09 PM

A friend of mine worked in the union on the Big Dig fiasco here in Boston. Him and a bunch of others worked 12 hour overtime shifts every Saturday. The work consisted of getting drunk, and then taking a nap. That’s all they accomplished. I wonder why that $2 billion government project ended up costing more than $20 billion? To this day Mass usually requires that all gov’t contracts go to union only companies.

shanimal on September 23, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Dude? Totally blown away.

milwife88 on September 23, 2010 at 4:14 PM

I just got back from the service dept of the local jeep dealership. That intermittent window problem that they could never verify when I brought it in to be fixed – it happened right when I was driving past the dealership. I stopped by hoping that they could verify the issue and repair it at a later date. They refused to even look at it until Monday. These guys even act like government workers now.

rw on September 23, 2010 at 4:16 PM

That explains the new car smell.

AaronGuzman on September 23, 2010 at 4:17 PM

With Obie’s economic policies millions have this kinda job..

Dire Straits on September 23, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Sorry

Dire Straits on September 23, 2010 at 4:20 PM

And they think they’re under paid.

ronsfi on September 23, 2010 at 4:24 PM

But..but these are Obama’s united workers of the world. Perhaps they confused chains with chain-smoking and “nothing to lose” with “nothing but booze.”

MaiDee on September 23, 2010 at 4:24 PM

My 1990 Dodge truck was built in Canada. My 1993 Dodge truck was built in Mexico. Toyota, Nissan, Honda, BMW and others build in America.

Tell me again why I’m supposed to “buy American?”

TugboatPhil on September 23, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Yeah, I read Rivethead years ago, as quoted by another commenter. Not new, not going to change until the Unions are broken.

TexasDan on September 23, 2010 at 4:38 PM

And if we could summon that sense of teamwork and common purpose

/BarryO

Last I heard, passing a doob, sharing it, is teamwork. And certainly common purpose. BarryO shoots, scores !!

Robert17 on September 23, 2010 at 4:46 PM

This is no surprise for anyone who’s lived in SE Michigan. During college, my roommate’s dad worked third shift at one of the Ford plants and every night at dinner, downed a six-pack of tall boys before heading off to build your car.

glockomatic on September 23, 2010 at 4:49 PM

$75.00 an hour is an exaggeration, it’s really only about $30.00 an hour for line workers. (Yeah, that makes it better, doesn’t it?)

Anyone that is surprised by this is a fool. Back in the 80′s, when you got actual checks instead of direct deposit, you could get your paycheck, go to the parking lot and sign it over to one guy who would pay you cash. Walk down a couple cars, get your smoke or coke, and then a few doors down to your own car for the 6-pack in your cooler.

The suppliers that make the parts to go to the big-3 were the same way, just not to the same extent.

All that being said, things have been the same way for decades, and they still managed to turn out mostly good vehicles, and have had surprisingly few injuries/deaths on the job related to all of this. It boggles the mind.

NavyspyII on September 23, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Wonder which one of those guys installed your brakes?

Nothing instills confidence like knowing your new Chrysler was assembled by a bunch of drunk union workers high on pot.

JellyToast on September 23, 2010 at 5:25 PM

Interesting… reminds me of a sad incident with a junior officer who worked for me some years ago. Good kid, an 8-year (Navy) lieutenant at the time. Busted on a DUI Thanksgiving weekend — right at the margin, .08, but it was the base police who got him. No option to not give him the black mark on his record. He was alert and cooperative during the stop (which was a routine holiday-weekend sweep; he wasn’t even stopped because of observed erratic driving). He just blew a .08 — and his career ended. He hoped against hope that he could get promoted anyway, but he was fooling himself. He had moved on to a new command by the 10-year mark, when he decided to get out voluntarily rather than wait to be pushed out.

Very sad. His job depended on a subsidy from the taxpayer too. But in a non-unionized organization — the military — the outcome was very different. “These guys in the video are a small minority” and all that; but the contrast with the taxpayer-funded, zero-tolerance DOD is too stark to not point out here.

J.E. Dyer on September 23, 2010 at 5:44 PM

There’s some sweet, sweet action here just waiting to be made into a campaign ad. Throw in a couple of references like ‘Those aren’t slurpees they’re drinking’ or ‘And they’re not getting the keys back’, etc. Maybe mention the $2 million per job price tag to create or save 55 jobs and the voters will lap this stuff up.

Come on you fat, lazy Washington pencil-pushers. Get out of your gold-plated chairs and help our side win!

Ogabe on September 23, 2010 at 5:52 PM

Soooo Can the Management fire these bozos? Or is that a Union perk too–the doing drugs while on the job one? I know–these guys are union management, right?

Vanceone on September 23, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Ummm…The Union is the Management…you haven’t been paying attention.

BigWyo on September 23, 2010 at 6:04 PM

Stoners nationwide buy a jeep and if you get busted say its not mine a union guy must have left it there!

dhunter on September 23, 2010 at 3:14 PM

You might have something there. Let’s say you are stopped and a drug dog ‘indicates’ on your car. During the subsequent search something illegal is found. Is the search legal if what the dog hit on was introduced in manufacturing?

slickwillie2001 on September 23, 2010 at 6:17 PM

I’m live in Canada. I occasionally see bumper stickers about not buying foreign cars, eat my import, and stuff like that.

Hmmm….I don’t recall Canada having a car company. But there’s a Toyota plant, a Honda plant in Canada along with GM, Ford and Fiat, ooops, Chrysler formerly known as Daimler Chrysler. All of which are imports.

JayJay123 on September 23, 2010 at 6:32 PM

My father is retired from GM and just today told me the story about a guy who carried a huge toolbox with him, whenever he was at work. Except it didn’t contain tools. Just pot, pills and other fun stuff he was selling up and down the production line. This is when my father decided it was time to get the hell out of there and out of the union.

Shiny_Tiara on September 23, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Don’t you just love how our hard earned money was spent????

IowaWoman on September 23, 2010 at 6:54 PM

Anyone still wondering why manufacturing is going to other countries?

slickwillie2001 on September 23, 2010 at 7:32 PM

Nothing worse than socialist rednecks. They lack both the intelligence, and the morals.

keep the change on September 23, 2010 at 9:32 PM

This gives new meaning to the warning Never buy a car made on a Monday or a Friday.

atxcowgirl on September 23, 2010 at 10:36 PM

I live in the Lehigh Valley, PA, former home of the world headquarters of Macks Trucks and Bethlehem Steel. The stories coming out of the plants 30 years ago were outrageous, including mattresses in a false ceiling at a Mack shop, where the night shift spent their nights sleeping, and guys at Bethlehem Steel who would park outside the gates, clock in and turn on their machines, and then clmb the fence to go home for a few hours. And these were the same guys bragging about their 14 weeks paid vacations, while the rest of us suckers had to work for a living.

I look at everything I buy and purposely avoid the “union label”. Just bought a new car in January, a Subaru Impreza made entirely in Japan, and I wish I could feel unpatriotic, but I don’t. Unions represent the exact opposite of everything my parents taught me about hard work and pride in that work, and if they were such a good thing for America, they wouldn’t need the constant help of our government.

oldoldbabs on September 23, 2010 at 11:18 PM

When asked for comment Obama said… ‘The reporter acted stupidly. Now who’s bogarting the bong man…’

RalphyBoy on September 24, 2010 at 2:50 AM

[...]
All that being said, things have been the same way for decades, and they still managed to turn out mostly good vehicles, and have had surprisingly few injuries/deaths on the job related to all of this. It boggles the mind.

NavyspyII on September 23, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Well, when I was doing engineering support for space hardware testing, we wrote our procedures and designed the test equipment so that you only needed to be marginally literate and not deliberately trying to harm yourself to run them mostly successfully.

We went through that for something we were only going to make a dozen or so of. When you are designing procedures for something that you’re going to churn out hundreds of thousands of, spending the time to make it bulletproof isn’t hard to justify. You’re design team’s not typically unionized, so they have to actually produce something.

Voyager on September 24, 2010 at 2:54 AM

The first 20 years of my working career I worked for General Motors until 1986, this type of behavior was rampant through out the 70s and early 80s and many may recall the saying never buy a car made on a Monday or Friday. Friday on the assembly line was a in house booze party particularly on the 2nd shift, with tables loaded with food and drinks all along the assembly line. Radio’s and TVs plugged in etc. By the time GM Management got control of the situation in the early 80s it was already to late. The poor quality image of GM and other American vehicles was sealed. THe labor unions killed the American auto industry not mangement (though you could argue management made bad contracts out of fear of the unions). There were many fine hard working men and women who were overshadowed by the loud mouth union goons and union bosses. Looks like the unions are again running what is left of the American Auto industry again. Thanks to BO and his communist buddies in the fed.

SANTA on September 24, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Nothing new. A friend of mine quit GM in the 70s (he was a union shop steward) because he couldn’t fire the stoners (or the drunks) that worked his line. Nothing has changed except the logo. Thanks to the UAW the workers are untouchable. I’ll not give up my Ford.

georgeofthedesert on September 24, 2010 at 9:25 AM

Comment pages: 1 2