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Mayor Mufi Hannemann today signed an historic drug and alcohol testing agreement with the United Public Workers union that will allow random alcohol and controlled substance testing for all Bargaining Unit 1 employees. The agreement covers approximately 1,900 blue-collar workers in the City, including Refuse Collectors, Treatment Plant Operators, Groundskeepers, Mechanics, Carpenters and Pipefitters.


“This is part of our ongoing effort to ensure a safe workplace environment,” Mayor Hannemann said during a signing ceremony at Honolulu Hale. “We are being proactive about this because it is the right thing to do, and the pono thing to do.”


Except for unions representing public safety workers such as police officers and firefighters, UPW is the first union in the state to agree to such random drug and alcohol testing for all members.


“This is indeed a great day for our union and the City,” said UPW State Director Dayton Nakanelua. “The leadership of our union has recognized that drug and alcohol abuse is not only a problem of the workplace, but a problem of the community.”


The agreement is meant to solve problems and provide needed assistance, rather than be punitive, he said.


The City and UPW are committed to a safe, drug and alcohol free workplace for employees as well as the public and community at large. The goal of this testing program is to ensure a safe workplace and to encourage employees to seek treatment if necessary.


“This will provide opportunities for rehabilitation and a return to work,” Nakanelua said. “This will allow families to stay together in harmony, lokahi and pono.”


All employees and supervisors will be trained on drug and alcohol awareness and the signs and symptoms of abuse.




Contact: Bill Brennan, 527-6928

Monday, September 29, 2008

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