For several days our TV crews followed some of these workers.
When we showed the video to executives from Chrysler they were embarrassed. The company had just been bailed out by the government and president Obama stood on the floor of the very same plant just a few months earlier. Obama said he believed in the workers and that he believed in Chrysler.
Chrysler was trying to remake its image and the activity in video we recorded certainly didn’t fit the “Imported from Detroit” campaign.
Chrysler suspended two workers and fired thirteen others.
Their cases ended up in arbitration and the arbitrator sided with the fired workers. They came back to work this week.
And now this statement from the auto maker:
“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.”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. 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.”