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IPFS News Link • Government Waste

Federally Funded Chevy Volt Battery Plant Paid Workers to Play, Not Make Batteries

 Instead, after spending $142 million of a $151 million federal Recovery Act grant to set up the factory, LG Chem Michigan has yet to produce a single battery cell that can be used in an electric car sold to the public.

It gets worse. Two of five planned production lines remain unfinished. And rather than the 440 jobs the plant was supposed to create, less than half exist today. But what jobs.

In a report released this week by Gregory Friedman, inspector general at the Department of Energy, some LG Chem workers were discovered to have spent their paid work time during the last three months of 2012 watching movies and playing board, card and videogames. The more civic-minded used the work day to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, at animal shelters and outdoor nature centers. Friedman found that the amount of time spent volunteering ranged from one to five days a week. Between the cards, videogames and volunteer hours, Friedman estimates the government paid $842,189 for “questionable” labor. (It shared half of all labor costs with LG Chem Michigan.)