Ford Motor Co. has agreed to invest up to $250,000 toward helping to find treatments for opioid addiction, a growing problem at many auto plants.
The automaker committed as part of its proposed contract with the UAW to formalizing an experimental pilot program started by union leaders at two Ford assembly plants in Kentucky to treat the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. It's also partnering with two universities on opioid-use disorder intervention research, as outlined in two letters from Ford labor executives to UAW leadership.
Both initiatives result from years of collaboration between Ford and its union to combat opioid addiction in auto plants. In 2017, the two teamed up to launch the UAW-Ford Campaign of Hope, an education and awareness initiative to tackle drug misuse among hourly and salaried workers. Last year, Ford agreed to allocate UAW-Ford National Program Center funds for a pilot program testing a nonpharmacological pain- management device for recovering employees and their family members.
Results of the initiatives will be circulated to nonprofit and government agencies to help combat the lethal effects of the opioid epidemic on the nation's work force.