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Russian official urges fight against alcohol abuse at work

MOSCOW (AP) — A top Russian official has called upon state-owned arms producers to introduce an ethics code in order to battle alcohol abuse in the workplace.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, speaking Tuesday to human resources directors of major state-owned companies, lamented “a propensity for alcohol abuse” at those plants. She said “the lack of discipline” comes with a “high price not only for the factories, but for humankind.”

Among the meeting’s participants were representatives of the manufacturer of air-defense missile systems Almaz-Antei and nuclear corporation Rosatom.

She also called on factory directors to set an example for their employees and cut down on drinking at office parties.

“I myself have seen corporate parties which were nothing like corporate parties,” Golodets told the officials in comments carried by the Interfax news agency.

A report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development this year showed that 30 percent of Russian deaths in 2012 were attributable to alcohol, the highest ratio among the nations it tracked.

Privately owned companies have raising alarms about alcohol and drug addiction among Russian workers as well.

Leading Russian steel producer Severstal signed a cooperation agreement this month with the Federal Narcotics Service to help battle substance abuse at its factories. Severstal’s press office reported that 21 people were caught high on drugs in the first eight months of the year.


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