Major Employer Wins Drug Testing Battle
Energy giant Suncor Energy has won another victory in a years-long legal battle over random drug and alcohol testing at its northeastern Alberta oil sites.
Suncor began randomly testing staff in safety-sensitive jobs in 2012, but Unifor, the union representing many of those workers, called it an infringement of privacy.
The majority of an arbitration tribunal ruled in favor of Unifor in 2014, but last year Alberta Court of Queen's Bench Justice Blair Nixon defeated that decision. Unifor appealed Nixon's ruling, but three judges with the Alberta Court of Appeal have unanimously dismissed the union's challenge.
The judges highlighted why safety is such a concern, as Suncor's facilities operate 24|7|365, and its employees work 12-hour shifts operating some of the biggest and most complicated industrial equipment in the world, thus requiring the need for drug testing to reduce accidents and improve safety.