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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, July 10, 2006
 
CONTACT:   Alison Kogut
ONDCP (202) 395–6618
 
NEW AGREEMENT TO DOUBLE NUMBER OF
AMERICAN WORKERS IN DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE

Industry Joins with Federal Government to Reduce Drug Use

Washington, D.C.—National Drug Control Policy Director John Walters today commended Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao and union and contractor association leaders for expanding the Drug-Free Workplace Alliance. Currently, the Drug-Free Workplace Alliance covers approximately 1.1. million workers. The inclusion of the four new unions and five associations will bring the total number of workers to over 2.3 million individuals and 45,000 employers and their employees.

"Here's one thing labor and management agree on: illegal drugs have no place in the workplace," said Director Walters. "The addition of four unions and five associations in the Alliance builds upon the success we have seen in the military, medical profession, and transportation industry. We know that individuals who use drugs are more likely to be involved in accidents and are more prone to health disorders and work-related fatalities. This agreement works to prevent the disease of addiction and also is an avenue for identifying employees that need assistance, resulting in lives saved."

Established in October 2004, the Drug-Free Workplace Alliance is the Department of Labor's first-ever cooperative agreement focusing exclusively on improving worker safety in the construction industry through drug-free workplace programs. Secretary Chao signed the original agreement with four labor unions, including International Association of Bridge, Structural Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers; International Brotherhood of Boilermakers; International Union of Operating Engineers; and United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

    The following four unions and five associations today signed the agreement:

  • American Road & Transportation Builders Association
  • Associated General Contractors of America
  • International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
  • Laborers' International Union of North America
  • National Asphalt Pavement Association
  • NEA—The Association of Union Constructors
  • Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association
  • United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada

The 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 75 percent of the Nation's adults who have alcohol or drug abuse or dependence problems are employed either full- or part-time—the largest common denominator.

For more information on the Department of Labor's Drug Free Workplace Alliance www.osha.gov/dcsp/alliances/drug_free/drug_free.html.