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Unions fighting the good fight

A little piece, but one that made me stand up and cheer on a small miner’s union in Vancouver.

Miners Union Fights Drug-Testing Policy

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – A coal miners union wants Teck Coal to put the brakes on a random drug-testing policy before wrapping up arbitration proceedings.

The union claims that the new policy is unjustified, as injury rates at open-pit mines are “lower than that for a lawn bowling facility.”

Two locals of the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union claim in B.C. Supreme Court that Teck Coal wants to start randomly drug and alcohol testing miners at its open-pit Elkview and Fording River coal mines known by Dec. 3.

The union filed a grievance, citing privacy concerns. It claims that until now, the company tested workers only before hiring them, for “reasonable cause,” or after an accident.

That’s something that any good union should do – protect its workers from unreasonable intrusion into their private lives.

I really liked a recent tweet from Lee Rosenberg:

Based on my experience, if I encounter a company that wants to drug test applicants, I conclude they have management problems.

Exactly.

He followed that up with a post where he noted that certain industries (in particular, those who need to compete for the best workers) have generally dropped out of the drug testing craze…

Being in the software/internet/IT world, I don’t have to worry about this any more. In fact, if I come across a company that actually wants me to take a drug test (and isn’t being forced by federal policy to do so), I’d take it as a sign there’s something wrong with the company. It’s like saying “we’re so dysfunctional, a person with a drug problem can pass the interview and work here unnoticed”. Almost no companies do it.

Another industry where you’re generally safe is government, as courts have generally held that, except in safety-sensitive positions, government drug testing can be a Fourth Amendment violation.

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26 comments to Unions fighting the good fight

  • DonDig

    The entertainment industry usually seems to know better as well.
    Most ‘creative’ types won’t tolerate that level of distrust: it’s simply the most complete invasion of personal freedom that can be imagined. If that’s company policy, you probably won’t be happy working there, as there probably won’t be much creative expression allowed anyway.
    I wonder if Google tests? Hmmm. 🙂

  • atrocity

    I thought the kind of drug testing being talked about here was already banned in Canada.

    And the author may have had a run of really good luck, but he’s dreaming if he thinks the tech industry isn’t nearly as piss-drunk as the rest of them.

  • stlgonzo

    My wife works for a liquor distributor some guy from HR wanted to start random testing. The CEO told him to go ahead if wanted to replace 75% of the sales force. They never started that.

  • claygooding

    The place we really need random testing is congress,,hell,I would settle for one surprise mandatory.

    • DonDig

      Now there’s a concept! Woo, hoo!
      They’d probably have to replace about 75% of their work force as well!

    • stlgonzo

      How many of those right wing nut jobs would test positive for UN-prescribed prescription pills?

      • ezrydn

        Probably less than the Left-wing nut jobs.

        • stlgonzo

          I figured the left wing guys would test positive for MJ and LSD. You know gotta play to the stereo-types.

      • unperson

        Milton Friedman and William F Buckley jr were what I would consider “right-wing”. Both were against drug prohibition. Please don’t stereotype and realize that there is also a lot of leftists with a totalitarian agenda.

        • stlgonzo

          Unperson,
          If you can’t understand a joke then maybe you should put the pipe down and back away slowly.

          Besides, since the hey-day of Friedman and Buckley the right wing has become neo-cons and religious conservatives like Rush Limbaugh, John Ashcroft, Todd Akin and the like. I dont think Friedman or Buckley fit in with that group. That and Friedman would be considered libertarian which would also be where I place myself.

        • stlgonzo

          Unperson,
          Did you not have a problem with the stereo-typing of the left wing guys?

      • Duncan20903

        Since when did the U.N. start writing prescriptions?
        [drumroll][rimshot]

  • Byddaf yn egluro:

    I’m having a debate with somebody from Western Free Press about retribution for drug war crimes. Anybody wish to chime in?

    • I went, typed out a fair response… and like many wwwebsites these days doesn’t completely work w/ my outdated ‘puter and browsers, so it didn’t even enter the comment. If someone wishes to post it, here tis:

      Well, if you (wfp) were swayed by Malcolm on the bust that is Prohibition 2.0 yet can’t grasp the war crimes aspect perhaps you need to research the history of drug policy more. Acquaint yourself with the litany of names of the drug war victims. Dead, not from drugs but from the drug war. Names like (going off the top of my head) Kathryn Johnston, Donald Scott, Veronica and Charity Bowers, Patrick Dorismond, Ezequiel Hernandez, Peter McWilliams, Capt. Jennifer Odom (and her crew), etc, etc, ad nauseum.

      Learn about Calvina Fay, Mel Sembler and Straight Inc… follow the trail of former drug czars and see their carpetbagging, war profiteering and fighting to maintain a prohibition that anyone with an hour to do some reading could discover the fraud that it is.

      Perpetuating crimes by government on its citizenry is seen by some as treasonous and that’s what drug prohibition has been since its inception – an assault on we, the people.

      The whole of the anti-drug campaign has been perpetuated not by research, science and compassion but by a steady flow of lying and racist propaganda.

      Read Radley Balko and discover the wonderful growth of SWAT and how the drug war is breaking down doors, shooting innocents, killing pets in front of children and arresting mom and/or dad and sending kids into the foster system. That’s criminal. Total all those harms together (and include all the unnamed dead, the kids killed in drive-by shootings or from tainted drugs) and you’ll have a better handle on that of which MalcolmKyle speaks.

      And there are those who speak not just of war crimes but reparations to the innocent who have suffered unjustly in a system totally rigged with the outcomes fixed…

      The drug war is a big elephant and it’s been in the middle of the room for a long time, nobody has taken it for a walk since forever and it’s about to massively soil the carpet.

      if someone wants to post it for me please do – and tell us here so we don’t be redundant.

  • claygooding

    he never answered about the tylenol in the opiate medicines,I think he is in over his head on trying to defend the people guilty of crimes against humanity,he keeps akipping around subjects he isn’t sure of.

    • Byddaf yn egluro:

      He also didn’t supply us with at least one principled argument in support of prohibition. I just left him the following:

      Bruce said: ” I can’t help but notice that you have been unable to name one principled argument in favour of prohibition, merely asserting over and over that MalcolmKyle1’s approach is off-putting.”

      @WFS Seeing how you claimed there WERE such arguments, you could at least try to give us one of them —no matter how spurious it may seem we’ll at least have something on which to debate further.

  • You know, you could claim that motherhood and eating dinner are safety sensitive positions. Unless the guy is doing something like flying an airplane or driving a school bus I think its all a big violation of the Fourth Amendment.

    Are unemployment and welfare safety sensitive positions?

    I think in most cases you are substituting an expensive corporate regimen for the same functionality that a supervisor or foreman has. Its not only a personal embarrassment and intrusion, it is costly and it is redundant.

    Why not test all drivers now for their drivers license? That’s probably the next bright idea. Forget the cop whose job it is to judge whether or not the driver is impaired.

    This is someones bright idea of job creation in America. I am not sure it has anything to do with drugs in all reality.

    • kaptinemo

      “I am not sure it has anything to do with drugs in all reality.”

      It never was. It’s a part of the mindset behind the Powell Memo and everything that has happened in the corp-rat world since. It’s all about reducing the workers to serfs…without looking like that’s what you are doing. Sloooooow, steady, drip-drip-drip of acid wearing away your rights and liberties, bit by bit, acclimating you to their loss…until you have none.

      Drug testing ensures the serfs keep their heads down. For the last thing the would-be Lords and Masters of Commerce want is a thinking populace who’d be onto their games in a flash. And if anything is an aid to stepping off the treadmill they put us on from the time we become industrially useful, and making you think about life and how you want to live it, it’s cannabis.

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