Chrysler’s extended Super Bowl ad for its 200 sedan is making waves in the American auto business, for “bringing back the pride” in America’s automakers and the city that hosts them. But, as with most things Detroitean, there’s a cruel irony lurking just below the veneer of pride reborn. The Detroit News reports
Three workers from Chrysler Group LLC’s Jefferson North plant were arrested recently for alleged drug use during their lunch break after police were tipped off by the automaker.
The workers were arrested on Jan. 24 but have not been formally charged, said Det. Lt. Robert Honey, of the Michigan State Police’s County of Macomb Enforcement Team.
This is the second time in the last six months that workers at Chrysler’s Jefferson North plant have been caught indulging in overly celebratory lunch breaks. Despite all the feel-good Chrysler advertisements about Detroit Pride and quality craftsmanship, workers assembling the new much-lauded Grand Cherokee can’t seem to build the thing while sober. But there’s more to this than sheer irony: we don’t have details on the latest round of arrests, but a Chrysler-employed TTAC commenter has told us that the previous round of arrests came after second-tier workers turned in union brothers out of apparent resentment of the fact that their colleagues were making twice their second-tier wage while drinking and smoking their way through the work day. Which raises an interesting question: if Chrysler didn’t have a two-tier wage system, would Jefferson North’s 24 hour party people have been caught? Is it possible that the shop-floor tensions brought on by two-tier wages actually help curb UAW worker excesses?