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Court issues injunction against random drug tests for Suncor employees

Court issues injunction against random drug tests for Suncor employees
From CBC - December 7, 2017

An Edmonton judge has ordered oilsands giant Suncor not to proceed with plans to start random drug tests of its employees.

The union representing 3,000 of the company's workers, Unifor 707A, applied on Nov. 30 for an injunction to halt the testing.

Unifor's lawyer, John Carpenter, argued that random drug and alcohol tests violate privacy, dignity and bodily integrity.

In his ruling Thursday, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Paul Belzil agreed.

Belzil issued an interim injunction to prevent random drug and alcohol tests until an appeal stemming from an arbitration between the union and Suncor can be decided.

Ken Smith, president of Unifor 707 A, said he's pleased with Thursday's decision.

"We really do believe ... it was an infringement on workers' rights," he said.

Years of court battles

The battle over random tests between started in 2012, when Unifor filed a grievance with a labour arbitration panel.

Thethree-member panel allowed the grievance in a 2014 decision.

Privacy as important as safety

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