Operating heavy machinery while impaired

Reader comment on: Bailed-Out Chrysler Workers Drink, Get High

Submitted by Grayson Levy (Israel), Sep 29, 2010 06:26

It's not only hard to build cars 10 minutes after using your lunch break to guzzle a huge bottle of beer on an empty stomach while smoking a joint. Considering the industrial machinery that these men are operating on the assembly line, they are endangering their own lives and the lives of co-workers around them.

It's wholly possible than banks and Wall St. firms have company rules against drinking and smoking marijuana during the workday. However in this case, I am sure there are also state and federal laws or regulations concerning operating industrial machinery under the influence of drugs and alcohol, especially considering the well-known penalties for driving under the influence.

What would most interest me is whether these UAW-protected semi-government employees will suffer any real consequences. I'd wager that in a "normal" company they would be fired for what they had done alone, without even beginning to consider the embarassment and damage to reputation they caused their company and brand. Somehow I suspect that the union will step in to protect them and if anything they will get a slap on the wrist.

Perhaps President Obama will call a press conference calling their actions "stupid", as he did with police officer Crowley in the "Prof. Gates affair". Alas, I don't think he'd invite them to a "beer summit" to mend the wounds afterward.

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