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Auto Workers Drinking, Getting High During Lunch

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Workers from a Detroit Chrysler plant visited by President Obama two months ago were busted today for drinking and smoking pot on their lunch break. Although they're now suspended, a former employee tells us it won't change a thing.

The Jefferson North Assembly Plant is Chrysler's flagship manufacturing facility. The plant, home to production of the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, was visited by President Obama in July — just five days before an investigation by Fox 2 Detroit began that unveiled auto worker's engaging in the blue collar equivalent of the three martini lunch. When President Obama visited this plant that's supposed to represent the "new" Chrysler, he told America

"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."

Unfortunately, a few of their employees look to still be stuck in old school stereotypes about organized labor.

The investigative report found a dozen employees were taking the 30-minute shift break they have at 11:00 am to drive to a public park and pound 40-oz beers, smoke weed, or do both at the same time. They then get in their cars, drive back to the plant presumably under the influence, and continue manufacturing cars.

Chrysler's Senior VP of Manufacturing, Scott Garberding, told Fox 2 saying they've suspended workers without pay pending the outcome of an investigation:

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Matt Hardigree

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Healthcare Costs grew a cumulative 138% between 1999 and 2010 and outpacing cumulative wage growth of 42% over the same period. Average employer costs for health insurance per employee hour rose from $1.60 to $3.35 during the 1999 to 2010 period. This almost 110% increase in average costs per hour was  much larger than the 39% increase in average employer payroll costs per hour for these workers  KFF


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