NOT ALL things went bad for unions in Michigan this past week.
Right-to-work legislation became law in the heavy industrial state Tuesday, dealing a blow to unions in the blue-collar state. It was an issue which triggered widespread protesting in the Wolverine state.
However, unions came to the rescue of 13 autoworkers. In 2010, 13 Chrysler workers were caught drinking and smoking dope on their lunch break.
Their disturbing activity was caught on film by a local TV station. The video, as expected, went viral.
Chrysler officials did what was proper, terminating the 13. No brainer, right?
The workers filed a grievance, hoping to salvage their jobs.
Two years later, an arbitrator ruled the 13 must be reinstated, courtesy of Chrysler's contract with the UAW. The arbitrator cited "insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold the dismissals."
That is crazy. Isn't a video by a television station a slam-dunk case? Maybe the arbitrator was smoking something funny when making the ruling.
As one would expect, Chrysler says it does not agree with the decision. Chrysler officials say they are "in the tough spot of having to accept the arbitrator's decision, just as the union must when the ruling is in the favor of the company."
Chrysler, not by its own doing, is a double loser in the scenario. Many in the general public will now think twice about dealing with a carmaker that employs such tainted workers.
As a coal miner's son, I appreciate the value of unions. But in this UAW scenario, union support should have never materialized.
Fair is fair. Workers who get gooned up while on the job deserved to be axed.
LAST WEEK'S column on the 1941 Martins Ferry football team that was anointed mythical state co-champions has spawned several responses.
I received one in regards to the Powhatan High Indians.
The sender noted that the Powhatan High football team in 1940 went undefeated, unscored upon and untied and were named the State Class B champions. Bill Dorsey was the Indians' coach while Len McVey was the captain. Len's sons (Mike, Jim and Mark) were all standout athletes at River High.
Moreover, the 1941 Ferry team sparked gridiron discussion at St. John's, which always leads to the undefeated 1956 Fighting Irish, which featured the likes of Paul Rose and Joe Maroon. Henry Healy served as head coach, aided by Lou Blumling, who was also successful as the Green's hoop coach. Two volunteers were key assistants in Delbert "Fish" Merryman and Dale Bumgardner. Merryman coached so long at SJC there is an award named in his honor. Bumgardner is a former Bellaire High football legend whose son Joe is still the Fighting Irish's all-time leading rusher.
WISCONSIN Athletic Director Barry Alvarez is getting a sweet deal to coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl. He was asked by the team's captains to guide the Big 10 champions in Pasadena after Bret Bielema bolted to become head hog at Arkansas. Alvarez will earn $118,5000 for coaching the game and will earn a $50,000 should the Badgers upset Stanford.
THE NEXT Bellaire Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon/meeting will be Thursday at noon at Country Club Retirement Campus. The cost of the luncheon is $7. There is no charge to attend the meeting. All local businesses and their employees are welcome to attend. Please make your reservations by Tuesday.
THE ST. FRANCES Cabrini Community Food Pantry in Colerain will be changing its monthly food pantry to the fourth Thursday of each month, starting Dec. 27, and will continue the fourth Thursday of each month in 2013. The pantry serves the residents of Colerain community and surrounding areas. Distribution of food items, cleaning and paper products are available. The Community Food Pantry is located in the basement at the rear of the church.
BISHOP HARTLEY High grid star Jacob Matuska was an invited guest to the Notre Dame football banquet last weekend. The tight end-linebacker has committed to ND and is listed as a defensive end recruit. He is the son of Jim and Beth (Bierkortte) Matuska, both St. John Central graduates.
CHRISTMAS IS the most joyous and upbeat time of year. Unfortunately, it always seems to be the time a tragedy of major proportions occurs. Such is the case again with Friday's senseless and heartbreaking mass shootings in Connecticut.
THE UNITED States EPA has passed tougher restrictions regarding soot. That cannot be good news for the Ohio Valley, as such regulations target industry. The Ohio Valley air is healthy enough, our economy is not. I am all for good air but not at the expense of jobs.
Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader online.com