I do have to wonder why, every time something like this gets posted the first thing is to blast the source. We already determined a while back, that unbiased news no longer exists, if it ever did, so why can't we take all posts/sources with a grain of salt, and concentrate on the contents of the post whether than the source.
So playing the devils advocate here, the report said.
We've seen a fair bit of social media discussion regarding the return to work of 13 Chrysler Group LLC employees who were dismissed from their jobs at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. We took that action after a September 2010 local news report exposed the workers' off-duty conduct.
So what I gather from this is the activity reported was OFF DUTY conduct?
So they were ultimately fired and then arbitration brought them back?
I thought this was a new story, but is simply a continuation of the one from two years ago? I might be a bit more upset if it was new and not simply a rehashing of an old one.
In cases where the union and management cannot agree during the course of the grievance, the typical outcome is arbitration. This allows the decision to be made by a neutral individual who is not affiliated with either the employer or the union. If there is a dispute over the intent of the contract language, the grievance and arbitration procedure enables the intent to be formally decided rather than management interpreting the contract in a way that the union may not necessarily agree with. Arbitration is a much less expensive process than court and does not necessarily require an attorney to present the case. However, the arbitrator's decision may or may not be binding, depending on the negotiated agreement between the parties. If the decision is binding, it formally sets a precedent for future situations.
Duty of Fair Representation
By taking an employee's case through the grievance or arbitration process, the union can prevent claims that they failed in their duty of fair representation. The union has the right to refuse to take a case if it is deemed that the issue lacks sufficient merit to grieve or arbitrate. However, the union may not make an arbitrary decision, refuse to move forward because of personal feelings about the grievant or the cost to the union, or be neglectful and untimely in the processing of a grievance. If a member has a legitimate case, the union must utilize the correct procedures.
Read more: What Are the Benefits of Grievances & Arbitration to Unions? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_7919832_benefits-grievances-arbitration-unions.html#ixzz2EhUyy9np
So If I am understanding this correctly, an arbitrator is not the union, but a neutral third party used when union and employer cannot agree?
Those words are out of the press release put out by the employer. If you read the caption of the fox article tho, it was employees caught while on the job. Totally misleading, also misleading that its all about the union, well its not, its about a neutral third party arbitrator making the decision. Again, misleading.
Well, Im not considering anything, but the employer said off duty, it went to arbitration and a third party neutral that had nothing to do with union or employer handled it. I guess the charge was not that they were caught drunk on the job or high on the job but that while on their own time was doing these things with no proof of anything else?
Regardless, it was not the union that declared them back to work. is my point.
"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."
They were filmed drinking and smoking pot on their lunch break. This is just pathetic. The arbitrator got involved after the UNION filed grievances on the behalf of the drinking and pot smoking employees. The arbitrator sided with the union, who was fighting for them to get their jobs (and back pay) back.
This excerpt from Huff Post:
But the United Auto Workers (UAW), the union representing the assembly line employees, filed grievances on behalf of the workers that were fired.
And a third-party arbitrator sided with the union, agreeing that Chrysler had to give the workers back their jobs. They started back at the factory this week.
PERFECT example of unions protecting terrible employees who blatantly break the rules. The union should never have filed grievances...unions should have a responsibility to uphold the company's policies and contract agreement with the employees as well, even when it isn't favorable for the employees. I'm pretty sure this behavior would have been against company policy.
Just sickening. It's a shame, I'm sure there are plenty of people who would love to have those jobs.
Exactly my point. The company and the union did not make the decision, the employees requested arbitration which is their right under their contract. It was the arbitrator (neutral third party that speaks for neither the company nor the union), that made the decision. What the defining points are that caused them to come to that decision has not been revealed.
No matter what you think about it, they were not on paid time. Evidently they dont get paid for their lunch hour. If the accusation had been, which it was not, that the workers were on the job drunk and high, that would be a different situation entirely. If they were not caught being drunk and high on the job, you cannot merely assume they were because of a third party accusation. In other words you are innocent until proven guilty. What they do on thier own time is a little bit hard to use if they were not on the job at the time, is what Im getting from the article.
And as I already said, if they had been caught on the job high or drunk, that would have been a whole different story. How do you know they drank enuff to get drunk or smoked enuff to be high if you didnt catch them on the job. Bottom line legally, they were on their own time and while I totally agree that it is horrible, terrible and all that, the fact still remains that the only thing they could prove was that they drank and smoked on their off duty time and as such cannot be tied to the workplace without proof of wrongdoing while on the job. Legal and moral have two different outcomes.
They were on BREAKS, meaning they directly returned to work.
Sorry, there's just no defending this. Even if it was AFTER work, it MAY have been fightable (but still, not really, due to liability reasons, etc)
How do you know they drank enuff to get drunk or smoked enuff to be high if you didnt catch them on the job. Bottom line legally, they were on their own time
Seriously? In most factory situations (and a lot of other jobs), there is random drug testing that will lead to an immediate termination just for testing +...no matter where or when they consumed the drugs. This was ON the job...break or no break.
They were on a break from work....during the work day. There's no reason intoxication would have to be proven. It's wrong, period. One sip/puff is too much.
I just can't see how you would defend this. It's cut and dry...and the union is ridiculous for protecting those workers. It's pathetic and sad...sends a great message. Now Chyrsler is stuck paying them all back pay, and having to take them back , NO doubt kicking out people who had been in those positions for two years. What about those people?
If this is what a union should do, then I'm, even MORE adamant that they are harmful.
Obviously the problem here has more to do with legal speech,i.e. what they should have legally been charged with opposed to what they were charged with.
I'm confused. They weren't "charged" with anything. The union filed grievances against their terminations. They should have absolutely been immediately terminated, and the union should have told them..."sorry for your luck...there's nothing to defend".
Trying to get around saying it was a lunch break is insane. Their work day was not over.
You see this is the problem. You and I both agree the behavior was not acceptable. Here in lies the problem. What you do on your own time (off duty) as the employer admitted it was, is your business unless stipulated otherwise in a contract. Now maybe they returned to work high or drunk, we obviously do not have proof that that happened because they did not drug test them, which if they had and found them to be intoxicated would be a no brainer. The FACTS, without assumptions state they had no proof they did anything on the job that violated their contract. It really is as simple as that. Union or no union, you still have to prove someone drunk or drugged on the job, not by heresay, in order to fire them. Well, I guess if you dont have a union, you could and they could take you to court I suppose. But the union had to have the case sent to arbitration under their contract with the workers. Thas is in the contract.
We all know that even a small amount of alcohol or drugs can impair judgement and/or reflexes, so people drinking/doing drugs on a lunch break, then going back to work, is outrageous.
"the fact still remains that the only thing they could prove was that they drank and smoked on their off duty time and as such cannot be tied to the workplace". It's my understanding that they did the drinking/drugs on company property (tied to the work place), then went back to work.
The problem, here, that I see is that Chrysler fired these scum bags, based on the original news report and video, by the local TV station. Yes, they were upset about it - what company wouldn't be, BUT - there always is one, isn't there? They should have had the workers tested for alcohol/drugs before they fired them, to make sure they were actually impaired.
Having belonged to a union and having them deny me support for discrimination, I don't think they should be able support behavior like this. This is what gives unions a bad name. They tend to support this stuff and turn their backs on people who they might really be able to help.
hrsepwrguy - I assume you have your people tested to make sure they are impaired before firing? Silly question, of course, you do or your people would be suing you........ lol
Exactly Barb, It is my understanding that pot stays in the system for up to 30 days. They should have sent them first thing for a blood draw and fired them based on that blood draw. Now if they are smart, they will send them for random drug testing about once a month and if they are a smoking it will show up and they could still fire em.
LOL, nursegirl, arbitration is a right under their contract. But it was not the UNION who made the call regardless of whether they ended up siding with the union or the employer, that is just happenstance. lol Calm down!
Teko, I get it...I understand the process. My beef is that the union should never have filed the grievances to begin with. I think it's nuts.
The union should have never backed them. I've had so many bad experiences and witnessed the protection of bad employees over and over, so, yes, it is a big sore spot for me.
IMO, this is just a perfect example of how unions do exactly that..protect the crappy employees who blatantly disregard the rules and disrespect the company, yet someone with a legit grievance, maybe over unfair distribution of OT...gets shrugged away.
Maybe companies might want to look at giving employees paid breaks...... In the job I retired from, I got a 15 minute break in the morning, a 30 minute lunch break and a 15 minute break in the afternoon. I never went off the clock....... If I got to work at 5:30 am (which I did, most days), I left at 1:30 pm and that was an 8 hr day..... never mind that I hardly ever took the 15 min morning/afternoon breaks, and often didn't get a lunch break if I was really busy. They got more work from me, than I got money from them....
I agree about the paid breaks barb. But it still comes down to the employer did not do the testing. And because of this, left a huge loophole for them to crawl thru and as I said ng, it is in the contract that all parties agree to, that arbitration is a right and the union is not allowed to deny based on their own feelings one way or the other. If you must blame someone other than the worker, there is enuff blame to go around and actually it falls squarely on the shoulders of the employer imo for not acting on the blood draw. They had thirty days after the fact to get it done, in fact more than that if this was indeed a repeated behavior.
I said that wrong...... we did not get paid for the 30 min lunch break, but neither did we clock out, and as long as we were clocked in, we were on company rules ......... If I went to work at 5:30 am, I got off at 2:00 pm, not 1:30 pm.
I realize it is the popular thing to do and bash the unions right now. There is a huge effort to do away with them and mostly by republicans. How odd is that? I have never had a bad experience with them, just the opposite actually so I have no reason whatsoever to bash them. I thank God for them actually because they have been very instrumental in the lives of my loved ones and indirectly me as well.
I cannot speak for all unions but the ones that I have had experience with were absolutely great and there was none of the employers against the unions and visa versa, they worked together in harmony and made it a great place for all to work.
So I guess it all depends on ones experiences with them. Mine were good, I approve and applaud them and would work for a union based company in a heartbeat. I also think employers who value their employees are not bothered by unions either. But that is my opinion
I think for me, this is all a technicality. They were charged incorrectly, but the issue remains the same. If you are caught using mj and drinking alcohol on a break, paid or not, it is pretty safe to assume you are under the influence. In some jobs this may not be an issue, but as a factory worker, this causes a safety hazard. So regardless of the fact that they were incorrectly charged, the behavior was wrong and potentially endangered others. These particular employees should not work there any longer. Of course we cannot draw the conclusion that all union workers behave this way - obviously they don't. But I do think it wrong that their union backed them and fought for them. I can tell you if someone filmed me behaving that way on a break (I too am not paid for lunch), I would be fired immediately. It would not be acceptable. Honestly, it's a shame they still work there - to put others at risk safety wise is wrong. I don't care how they justify it, or how they were charged. Right is right and wrong is wrong. The firing should have stood. How many times have we all complained because some criminal gets off on a technicality. This is the same thing in my opinion, union or non union.
I knew a guy who worked for Chrysler when I lived in the US.
He would report off REPEATEDLY, show up to work late, do what he wanted at work, etc. I was appalled at that fact he kept his job. I asked him how can you do this and keep your job. His answer was....THE UNION. He said workers came to work drunk and high and even did this during working hours. Workers just pretty much did what they wanted.
Who would really want an auto from Chrysler KNOWING this goes on? These people are putting autos together NOT sandwiches.
"So I guess it all depends on ones experiences with them. Mine were good, I approve and applaud them and would work for a union based company in a heartbeat"
Mine were not good and I saw too many people, who didn't do their jobs, being protected, while those who should have gotten protection, were left by the wayside. There was one guy who would clock in, take his company truck and go home for the day, then come back and clock out, at quitting time. Not only was he getting paid to sit at his house, but it was against the rules to have a company vehicle on your private property. After he got caught going home with a company truck, he'd clock in, then take his personal vehicle home for the day, and come back to punch out. It was against the rules to be drive a personal vehicle while on the clock or a company vehicle when not on the clock. They tried to fire him and the union stepped in; he still has his job.
I'd have to think really hard about joining another union.
To me all this is is another power play of the rich trying to keep their thumb on the little people. I see it as a way to strip wages and get it back to people working for lower wages and longer hours and etc, because they are using it as a tool to get those outsourced jobs back and in order to do that have to lower wages on the workforce. Even now we see employers reneging on promises of pensions and benefits that they made to get the person to work for them in the first place. We see low wage jobs such as Walmart that pay so little that it keeps people on the very system they say is out of control. I agree that there are problems with unions and some things need straightened out. But by all means don't tell me its being done for our own good, its simply stripping away and replacing with what once was. Backward in time. Everyone better get used to working for less and had better get used to living on a slimmer lifestyle than they are used to. imo
I don't think bashing unions is a popular thing to do...I think many people feel the way you do, and many feel the way I do (and others). There are unfortunately way too many stories like the one Barb just told, like the many I have shared from working in union facilities, and this story.
Why can't people be held accountable for themselves? Why do they need a union to negotiate wages and benefits? Why do unions need to mediate disciplinary actions? There are plenty of jobs out there that do not involve unions, and the employers and employees do a fine job of figuring this stuff out for themselves. If it isn't fair, leave. The employee stinks? Fire them.
There are labor laws in place to deal with issues such a discrimination and such, so again, WHY do we need unions? I'm sorry, but while I'm sure there are some good unions out there, I would guess the vast majority of them are like this one, and the ones we're personally familiar with...the ones who protect the crappy worker who gets away with everything and anything they want to, and in the end, that actually harms the good worker, the one everyone is fighting for the union to protect. They get left in the dust.
At one time, unions were a necessity, no doubt. Not in this day and age...unions have become something totally different from what they started out as...they're corrupt, money hungry, and have more interest in lining the pockets of various politicians than they do actually making the workplace a fairer, safer place. Also, they have FAR too much power.
The things I saw at TWO jobs were disgusting. I also have many friends that work for union companies...the same stories are repeated over and over. I live in the heart of union country...born and raised in Pittsburgh. Everyone is unionized...the teachers, cops, health care workers, factory workers...you name it. There's always someone on strike, fighting not to have to pay $10 a month for insurance when it was free before...ridiculous stuff like that. The union usually prevails for them too. If they don't, there are more strikes, more threats.
My own kids have had to go to school 2 weeks into the summer because of teacher strikes. What were they striking over? The union was fighting for them to have like 2 more vacation days a year, on top of the 2 weeks they already got. Yeah, that's real productive. Lose 2 weeks of the school year over 2 days? That's the kind of thing that makes me sick. In some cases, it's no different than bullying.
People argue all the time that unions make workplaces safer. Wonder if OSHA would agree that the union has facilitated a safe workplace environment for this Chrysler plant?
I thought unions were about workers rights, safer work place ect,ect, well what about the guy who has to work next to these people that doesn't behave like that, what about his right to a safe work place, is he not a union member? There were many complaints on here about worker safety and working conditions following the factory fire, does that same concept not apply here.
I've never in my life had a job where drinking or smoking weed on company property was okay.... never. I've got no idea what company policy on that is, but I'd bet a company as big as Chrysler Corp. has a little something in their employee manual regarding drinking or drugs on/at the workplace. Possession in that case would be grounds for termination, let alone usage.
Regardless of "off duty" status (story had it that this occurred on their lunch hour), even if they didn't work that day.... there is no way that Chrysler would allow or should allow alcohol consumption/drug use on property.
These mutton heads are the same type of people that would go out, get high, go back to work and operate equipment, get themselves injured and then sue their employer. I've got no doubt in that. (Presumptuous, I know... but Ive seen it happen and watched douche nozzles get away with it.)
Drug test or not.... it is the employee's job to remove all doubt of their guilt. Maybe its just me, but when I am on the clock, I am an open book. I don't care if there are camera's watching me because I am doing nothing questionable or against company policy. The camera which was on property filmed the actions in question (the date would also be verifiable by the camera or other recording device) should have been proof enough. If I had been caught in a similar snag, I would have taken a drug and alcohol test on my own to prove my innocence.
hrse nailed it. Unions are supposed to be about a safe work place. The unions themselves should have insisted that these people go for drug tests, imo.
Fact of the matter is, there are a lot of people at Chrysler who have stellar records within the work place. They have not been caught up or implicated in a situation like this. They have kept their noses clean and have kept their noses to the grind stone every day... following all rules and regulations. These very same people get to work along side these a-holes, for probably the same amount of money and benefits and there is no recourse. These people probably believe whole heartedly in the fact that the unions are to provide a safe work place, and at the same time watch the very same union protect people who simply don't care enough about anything to remain sober through a work shift? Great job, unions....
If the unions weren't so concerned with money, they would hold all of their members to the same standards. That's all that Chrysler was trying to do and unions strip that right from an employer??? BS. Arbitrators??? They wouldn't have a position if it weren't for unions. They never would have stepped in if it weren't for grievances filed, and then the responsibility would have landed on the employees shoulders to prove their innocence and if it were determined that they were dismissed without adequate proof, they could have received damages, just like everyone else in the work force.
Oh, and besides if they were on the clock or not... I do know that unions themselves do have drug policies. NO DRUG use is acceptable, or at least it was that way when I was entering the apprenticeship program with IBEW in 1985.
Here is the issue with some unions and union people like Hoffa. The large unions are in it for themselves. Hoffa makes millions off of the union and his dealings. He should be figting for his "workers" not the Democract party. he has no business telling his people how to vote.
Most unions had a time and place, but today most don't have a place. They are doing more harm then good.
From friends that are in law enforcement and work for local fire companies. They have worked to hire more people so these people are not over worked/over stressed. Care about safety and try to get the best equipment for them and stand up for them when injustice is done.
I will say that pensions have helped cripple some cities and that is something I am not happy with, but for active duty law enforcement and fire they do a good job. Maybe some cities see things different but the city where I live and the people I know I will give those unions a pat on the back.
I actually have to say that I'm with Mikesimon on this one. I have another anecdotal story---- of my dear friends husband who brags that he's met his retirement age (um, he's in his 40's) but is still working and in just SIX years will have earned an extra HALF MILLION in his pension fund.
Glad we fund such a wonderful retirement for these folks with our tax money.
We really do agree on this one. My personal experience is filled with cops and fireman who are arrogant about how they've played the system. Cops retire early and become firemen to get one more pension and then go into local government to get more.
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