SUITLAND, Md. — U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao today was joined by leaders from five labor unions and five contractor associations at the new headquarters of the U.S. Census Bureau for a signing ceremony to further expand the existing multi-union Drug-Free Workplace Alliance. 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.
"Workers benefit when unions and management combine forces to improve workplace safety and that's what this Drug-Free Workplace Alliance is all about," said Secretary Chao. "Unions, employers, and associations who have joined in this alliance are committed to preventing on-the-job drug or alcohol use and making safety a core value at the worksite."
The labor secretary was joined by leaders from five unions: the International Union of Operating Engineers, the Laborers' International Union of North America, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, the United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada, and the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers.
Participating contractor organizations are the Associated General Contractors, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the National Asphalt Pavement Association, NEA — The Association of Union Constructors, and the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association.
"The new members of the alliance will more than double the number of workers covered by the alliance to over 2.4 million workers," said Secretary Chao. "This is the first time that employers have joined the alliance and that is a great step forward in advancing worker safety."
The alliance agreement highlights the secretary's commitment to working cooperatively with unions and contractor associations on the shared goals of protecting worker safety and health. Since its inception, founding members of the alliance have facilitated the delivery of the drug-free workplace message to many individuals working in or with the construction industry. In addition, participation in the alliance has helped build trust and cooperation between government, industry and labor.
For more information on the Department of Labor's Working Partners for an Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace, please visit our Web site at http://www.dol.gov/workingpartners/ From Working Partners