Office Drug War Escalating

Office Drug War Escalating
Posted by FoM on September 06, 1999 at 17:25:42 PT
Companies hiring undercover agents
Source: Evansville Courier & Press
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mike Price’s long career with General Motors ended abruptly with a drug sweep of the company’s Corvette plant in Bowling Green. 
Price was arrested in the middle of a work shift, and was among 17 workers led past their peers in handcuffs on the way to being charged with selling marijuana to an undercover agent posing as a co-worker. Price, a 46-year-old single parent, was fired after nearly 23 years with GM. “Am I a trafficker in marijuana? No way,” Price said. Like most of the GM workers arrested on May 7, 1998, he maintains his innocence. “If GM thought I had a drug problem, why didn’t they come to me?” No past policy In fact, GM had no random drug-testing program, only suspicions. So it used the drug sweep, and thus joined an increasing number of companies willing to try any means to stamp out drugs in the workplace. Despite such efforts, which many view as Draconian, companies across Kentucky and throughout the nation continue to be confounded by the grip drugs have on their employees and the workplace, The Courier-Journal reported Sunday. Drugs everywhere In Greater Louisville, an estimated 70,000 people are addicted to a drug, and less than 10 percent are treated. For reasons ranging from a lack of programs to a lack of money, an estimated 22,000 people are waiting for treatment of substance abuse. And in the Louisville area alone, substance abuse kills 600 people every year. The problem costs the area more than $630 million in health care, unemployment, lost productivity, crime and criminal justice expenses and addiction treatment, according to figures released at last year’s Louisville Drug & Alcohol Treatment Summit. Price, who said of his firing that “my life is gone now,” could attest to the fact that no one is exempt from being a suspect. GM will say little about its undercover operation and the subsequent arrests. “Everyone deserves a workplace that’s free of substance abuse,” said Kyle Johnson, GM’s spokesman. “We want to make our workplace safe for all of our employees.” But Price, who is now working a sales job, has gone public in an effort to clear his name. He has rejected a plea deal that would fine him $50 for possession. The corporate plant Price is still seemingly bewildered by the turn of events and says he never sold drugs to the undercover agent from a private security company, a young woman who befriended several co-workers during a 16-month period. GM brought in the woman when the company began to suspect drug use at the plant. The company says some workers sold her drugs, including marijuana and amphetamines. Attorney Kelly Thompson, who is representing eight of the 17 defendants in a civil lawsuit filed against GM, said that most of the employees were fired, one suffered a nervous breakdown and three with specialized skills eventually returned to work at the plant. “You could put all the drugs they found in one hand,” Thompson said. The undercover agent “enticed them to bring the drugs to work. The joint would appear on her workbench, and she’d say, ‘That’s trafficking in marijuana.’” Other options? Given what Thompson called the small amount of drugs found, the number of employees GM had to replace and what Thompson called the questionable tactics of the undercover officer, he said sending employees to treatment programs would have made more sense. So, he said, would drug testing. “They could have said to the union, ‘We’d like to do drug testing.’ Or, ‘We’d like to do random testing.’ Or, ‘We’d like to pick out these people we suspect and do drug testing,’” Thompson said. Although their legality has been challenged in the courts, the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently upheld the rights of companies to require drug testing as a condition of employment. By The Associated PressEvansville Courier & Press Monday, September 06, 1999 
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Comment #1 posted by Anna on January 20, 2000 at 07:46:05 PT:
GM drug bust
My little brother was fired from GM for drugs - after the undercover "agent" slept with him! After the flirting and dating of course he would try to get her what she wanted - she asked him to get her some drugs and he did. Then he was fired! I smell entrapment!!
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