wjbk Valenti And Foster   Auto Workers Drinking On Break... Acceptable?... Who's To Blame?


Did the media go too far? Click Below to listen and leave your thoughts.

  1. eric says:

    Something interesting to me not mentioned. What they showed on tv is what was consumed and smoked between the time frame of 1100 and 1130. Who knows what exactly was consumed prior to or after the time showed. These people may hit it before work, during work and after work. Maybe it’s an all day buzz they keep going at lunch and throughout the day. These dudes may seriously have problems!!!!

  2. john says:

    I spoke with someone who dealt with a similar situation and said the single word is ‘addiction’… as soon as they say that, the workers are off the hook. Nothing will happen as a result and that is a shamocracy.

  3. Lorne Cook says:

    I’ll just cross-post my journal entry for today –

    Much has been made already of an incident which Fox 2 News here in Detroit covered which showed workers at Chrysler’s Jefferson North facility drinking and smoking pot in a public park during their lunch break.

    What is amusing to me is that many people who have called or written into shows today – union and otherwise – have done everything except what they should probably do, and say that this is incorrect behavior when you are on corporate time. Unpaid lunch doesn’t mean you can ditch the official policies of your company.

    Now, I see the point that some have made, that this will give Detroit another black eye and no one will differentiate between the aberrant behavior of a few dozen individuals and the hard-working attitudes of tens of thousands of others. However, if factory culture still fosters an attitude that using psychoactive substances and thereby creating potential working hazards is acceptable, then it needs to be pointed out and pointed out now, otherwise any work at changing Detroit’s image is at best disingenuous.

    Someone even had the old-school mentality that likens the UAW to the mob, where things like this should be kept to yourself and you shouldn’t rat out your union brothers and sisters. I am guessing that whoever informed Fox that this was occuring was showing far more concern than the people that would have said nothing. Saying nothing, in this sort of instance, makes you complicit and subject to discipline yourself in many places if something goes wrong.

    There was one person that even called into 97.1 FM and claimed to know several of the people caught on camera and tried to excuse the behavior by saying that several of them were alcoholics. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that this is a reason to seek assistance, not an excuse – most companies offer access to the necessary help.

    What impressed me, hearing people codemn and justify in the same breath as many of them were, is that there were so few people who outright said – “This is unacceptable”. Many more people said, “Well, management does it too….”, or, “Well, it’s unpaid time….”, or, “Well, other industries have this problem.” I was utterly amazed that, despite all the pain around here, that the attitudes of many have not changed and that many see the automotive industry as sacrosanct despite having shown its mortality in so many ugly ways (ugly to our regional economy, that is).

    The object lesson here is that Michigan still seems to look back fondly at the 20th century, and this needs to end now if there is any hope of recovery.

  4. Dennis says:

    I am a UAW retiree, it is 100% wrong for an worker to drink any alcohol and return to work. It clearly is stated in our contract. It no doubt happens, so if someone gets caught,they should face the consequences. Our contract states, a person has to except help,if they refuse or do not follow thru with treatment,then they can be discharged. I donot condone in any way what these workers did. I do feel it could have been handled better. So they get fired, have families,lose their job,lose their house,divorce…do they go on state aid……..this is a bigger story than they think it is. If this had been handled between the union and Chrysler, the same thing would have happened, they would have been suspended. It could have been handled better.

    1. Steve says:

      Dear UAW retiree,
      You first stand by what I think is your moral judgement and how you live your life, but you then take that Union excuse of dont tell and somebody elses fault stance that angers every other normal working person. You wonder why America thinks you are over paid and unions stink.
      Yes my friend, they get fired. Yes my friend, their family takes a hit. That is of course if they have a family that has enabled them all these years. If so, then the family will need to go and get jobs to help support the family now. Divorce!!! Did these guys give a crap about their wives and family’s while they selfishly went about there days drinking. NO state aid–they will now have to stop partying and work 2 jobs to support the family you are so concerned about.
      Guess what happens though. Some hard working, honest, not so selfish worker will now get a shot at that job. Maybe a laid off union worker who lost his house and his wife will now get a second chance and not blow it like these guys did.
      There is no bigger story here. The story is that if you drive by any of these plants there are liqour stores and bars right across the street from all of them. This has been going on for years. Thats the bigger story. Unions and their employee’s have hid, excused, lied and blamed everyone else. The bigger story is this is an environment they have created for years!!!!
      The story here is no-one from Chrysler Management has the guts to challenge the union and follow its workers. Hopefully some wonderful hard working union member said enough of this and tipped the news media off.
      Attention Union workers. Times are tough. We want your jobs. So stop sleeping, drinking and smoking on the job as many of you have done all these years. Work hard for all those lifetime benefits and that enormously large paycheck you get. Stop expecting your full salary when you don’t work. Appreciate what you have and stop expecting you deserve it.

  5. Dennis says:

    It could have been handled better than it was, now every hard working auto worker that comes out of any plant will be judged. Anyone that can down 32 ounces in a few minutes at that time of day,needs help. If tv2 had just showed the video to the compnay and the union, the same results would have been done,but the whole world didn’t have to know.So where else is this going on?

  6. Bill says:

    Unfortunately this has been going on since … well forever. This isn’t a thing that just started. Its a way of life, its what they do and what they’ve always done.
    Right or wrong its always been there we just havent seen it. “They” do it because they can!
    If busted they claim “addiction” and they Union gets them off and sent to counciling. They are off work on a “disability” wait for their infraction to come off the books then return to work.
    Its a game/dance that the Union and Management play all the time. I’ve seen it myself countless times.

  7. Fred says:

    My question is don’t these places drug test anymore?I’m out of work and I would love to have that job.What happens if these guys go back to work after lunch drunk,or stoned/high and gets hurt on the job or even hurts someone else because he is under the influence of drugs or alcohol?My question for all these people who say leave them alone they’re not hurting anyone,how would you feel if they did something to hurt you or someone you love because they’re drunk or high.I’d like to hear that response,because I think then everyone would agree with me.

  8. Shaun says:

    The behaviors involved can in no way be condoned, but as Terry Foster pointed out, this is nothing new. One need only read Ben Hamper’s “Rivethead” (1992) to get a sense of some of the former excesses. Nevertheless, it is interesting that Fox News decides to conduct an “investigative” journalism piece on factory workers at a time when there is enormous pressure to reduce factory worker wages and benefits. It would be naive to think that there are _no_ upper management people who arrive at work inebriated or have a drink or two at lunch, but that is much easier to conceal from a prying camera. The goal is to make factory workers look like irresponsible bums, a ruse that many people will unfortunately fall for.

  9. Jim says:

    As a UAW worker who lives in this area, i feel this whole story was poorly handeled as much of these investigative pieces are. All this does, is shine a negative spotlight on a hurting local lifeline of this alrerady hurting economy. I have seen another peice by this so called concerned citizen on FOX NEWS, where he allowed thiefs to break in to some poor ladys car and steal all her valubales and spare keys outside a courthouse in Detroit. He could have easily scared the young theifs off after he got their faces on camera, and shattered the window with a screwdriver. Instead of making a diffrence, he stood by like a coward and filmed from the safety of his van. The same in this situation, if he realy was concerned about what was going on, he should have confronted the men and explained how terrible they were making their company and fellow uaw workers look. Put the spolight on the real problems this Michigan economy is facing. If you follow anyone in politics around for the same amount of time you wasted on this story, you would come up with a story alot worse than having some poor mans wine on lunch break. Give me a break! Get a life FOX NEWS!

  10. Lenny P says:

    The Media did something not all supervisors are motivated to do, It’s dangerous in these big auto plants to write up an employee. You can run but not hide from the bad guys. Big management does often not back you up and time you need to do YOUR job has to be spent with HR. I’m sure these guys were not punched out for lunch, the last Chrysler plant I was in did not allow hourly to go out for lunch, there was a real nice cafeteria. The union does fight the good fight, like it or not these guys are our neighbors and probably some ladies man and some kids dad. We are better off as a community if we can straighten their sorry asses up.

  11. madelefant says:

    I heard nothing in the on-air coverage referring to the most sinister aspect of this. The media becoming big brother. England is often referred to as a surveillance society and the US is rapidly becoming the same. It is always this kind of hysteria that leads to totalitarian societies.

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