FORT MCMURRAY, AB, June 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Suncor's decision to implement
random drug testing at its Fort McMurray properties "is a humiliating
invasion of an individual's privacy that has no proven impact on
workplace safety," says Dave Coles, president of the Communications,
Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.
"Random drug testing shatters our privacy, destroys our dignity, and
eliminates trust in our fellow workers and management," says Coles.
"And there is little evidence to link random drug testing results to
less substance abuse or a safer workplace.
CEP's Western Region Vice-President Jim Britton says that "if employers
are so concerned about health and safety, instead of imposing a
unilateral company policy, they should negotiate with CEP for an
effective broadly-based program to reduce the harmful impacts of
substance abuse. That would entail a number of elements including
"While CEP recognizes society's drug problem and shares the goal of a
drug-free workplace, education is the way to go," says Britton. "Random
workplace drug testing in no way addresses the root of the problem."
The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union has a long history of
opposing random drug testing in the workplace, including numerous court
challenges. Recently, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to hear an
appeal involving whether a worker's right to privacy is breached by
random drug testing at the Irving Pulp & Paper Ltd. kraft paper mill in
St. John, New Brunswick.
The 120,000-member CEP is the largest union in several key sectors of
the Canadian economy, including energy, forestry, communications and
media. It represents about 3,500 workers at the Suncor refinery, who
are members of Local 707.
SOURCE COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA
For further information:
Dave Coles (613) 299-5628; Jim Britton (604) 992-6625