DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler said it has suspended some plant workers caught by a Detroit television station drinking alcohol and smoking what appeared to be marijuana during breaks.
Chrysler manufacturing chief Scott Garberding told WJBK-TV in a report that aired Wednesday night that the automaker identified some of the workers from Detroit's Jefferson North plant on tape and was pursuing the others. Garberding and other Chrysler executives came to the Fox affiliate's studio to view the footage.
Garberding told the station a few workers were suspended indefinitely without pay pending further investigation. He did not say how many.
"For us, this behavior is totally unacceptable and will be dealt with swiftly," he said. "What's difficult about this is these few people who exhibited bad behavior have painted a bad picture of what's an outstanding assembly plant filled with outstanding and committed Chrysler employees."
WJBK said it received a tip from a plant worker and followed about a dozen men for 10 days this month during their late morning, half-hour lunch break. It filmed them going to a convenience store to buy alcohol and taking it to a nearby park to drink and smoke.
The United Auto Workers said in a statement to the station that it strongly opposes the use of alcohol or controlled substances on the job.
"The employees involved in this situation do not represent the vast majority of workers at Chrysler who do a great job making high quality vehicles in some of the most productive manufacturing facilities in the United States," the union said.
President Barack Obama visited Jefferson North and other auto plants in July to argue that his administration's $60 billion bailout of Chrysler and General Motors was paying off through increased car sales and progress on battery-powered vehicles.
Chrysler received about $15 billion in government help and was placed under control of Italian automaker Fiat as part of its bankruptcy.