One aspect of employment law which has always puzzled me is the long running battle between  workers and management  over random drug testing.

Before taking to the law I tried my hand briefly at honest labour, working in the  mines and in construction, lasting long enough in each venue to realize that not only  was it too much like hard work, but that a fellow could get seriously  hurt quite easily on the job; and to realize  too that the person most at risk from an employee impaired by drugs or alcohol , were his co-workers.

Surely, one would think, it is in everyone’s interest to identify and deal with stoned workers, and it appears that at least  the Alberta Court of Appeal  agrees with me, handing down an important decision recently confirming Suncorp Energy’s right to conduct random dug tests on workers  at its Alberta oilsands  work sites.

The workers in question are the ones driving around in huge 400 ton trucks, and operating monster cranes, so commons sense would seem to dictate that Suncorp has a legitimate reason to confirm the worker’s sobriety.

Not according to Unifor, the  union involved. They are vowing to take the matter to the Supreme Court of Canada, calling the decision a gross violation of workers rights, and suggesting that  random testing neither reduces accidents nor improves work place safety.  Sorry Unifor, I find that hard to believe, and if I were working in the Oilsands, I’d kinda like to know that the guy driving the beomoth bearing down on me wasn’t high as a kite!

Still it could be worse – as Rush Limbaugh once quipped :

“Did you know that the White House drug test is multiple choice ?”