OTTAWA, June 14, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Unifor learned that the Supreme Court of Canada will not be hearing Unifor's case regarding random drug and alcohol testing.
As a result, the union's grievance will be re-heard by a new arbitration panel. Unifor is confident that it will prevail before the new arbitration panel.
"There is no evidence that random testing improves safety," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "Unifor is committed to reliable methods to keep our members safe on the job while respecting their dignity."
In the meantime, there is an interim injunction in place prohibiting Suncor from randomly drug and alcohol testing the union's members.
In 2012 the union (at the time known as the Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers' Union) filed a grievance when Suncor announced the unilateral implementation of random drug and alcohol testing in its Fort McMurray Oilsands operations. In 2014 an arbitration panel upheld the grievance and ruled that the testing violates workers' rights.
After a judicial review and the Court of Appeal later set aside the panel's decision, Unifor appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. During this process, a court granted an injunction prohibiting random testing.
Unifor notes that Suncor employees are already subjected to more alcohol and drug testing than Alberta's drivers. Suncor tests following virtually every workplace incident. In contrast, the police can only demand that a driver submit to drug and alcohol testing if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe the driver is impaired.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For further information: please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at [email protected] or 778-903-6549 (cell).