OTTAWA, June 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Today's Supreme Court decision on
mandatory random alcohol testing is a victory in the battle to protect
workers' privacy rights, says Dave Coles, President of the
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.
"Random alcohol testing is a humiliating invasion of an individual's
privacy that has no proven impact on workplace safety," says Coles.
In 2006, Irving Pulp and Paper Limited in Saint John, N.B., unilaterally
adopted a policy of mandatory random alcohol testing for employees in
safety sensitive positions. CEP Local 30 filed a grievance challenging
the policy after a worker was chosen randomly by a computer program to
take a breathalyzer test. The test showed a blood alcohol level of zero
but the worker said the test was humiliating and unfair.
"The Supreme Court's decision makes it clear that employers can't simply
impose random alcohol testing on their workforce, they need to
negotiate this question," said Coles.
"Our union's long-standing position is that the best way to resolve
social problems such as alcohol or drug abuse is to address the root
cause of the problem", said Coles. "Rather than attack the victim,
Corporate Canada needs to do a better job in offering employee
assistance programs, drug education and health promotion programs."
"Its time to work on the root causes of addiction and abuse and this
demands broadly-based programs that can't simply be delt in a law and
order way", said Coles.
SOURCE: COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA
For further information:
Dave Coles (613) 299-5628