P.M. BRIEFING : Boeing Drug Abuse Plan in Effect

From Times Wire Services

A Boeing Co. plan for handling alcohol and other drug abuse has been implemented over vehement objections by the aerospace giant’s largest union.

Under the policy put into effect Tuesday, Boeing’s nearly 150,000 U.S. employees, from janitors to executives, may be tested after on-the-job accidents or when company officials find a reasonable suspicion that an employee used drugs.

Employees found to have prohibited substances in their system could enter a treatment program after the first offense but would face dismissal for a second offense.

Eighty-six percent of the members of the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents about 40,000 Boeing workers in and around Seattle and another 10,000 in Portland, Ore., and Wichita, Kan., voted last month to reject the plan.