(USA TODAY) - Chrysler took quick action two years ago after television news reports of workers at its Jefferson North plant in Detroit who were drinking beer or smoking marijuana on lunch breaks against factory policies.
It fired 13 of them. But now they're back on the job, having won an arbitration decision that reinstated them to their union jobs.
Chrysler officials aren't happy about the decision.
"An arbitrator decided in the workers' favor, citing insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold the dismissals. This was a decision that Chrysler Group does not agree with," says Scott Garberding, senior vice president of manufacturing, in a statement.
He notes that the company hasn't forgotten that it only stayed in business because of a federal bailout and having to reinstate the drinking workers is "an unfortunate aberration."
Fox 2 News' report caused quite a stir at the time. News crews followed workers to a park where they were seen drinking or lighting up marijuana on their breaks, then heading back to the plant. It went back a year later and found more workers engaged in the same behavior on breaks. Jefferson North was rocked by the murder-suicide of one worker who stabbed another at the plant then killed himself in a city park.