Article by Roberta Bell, CBC
Oilsands giant Suncor will have to wait until next week to find out whether it will be able to start conducting random drug and alcohol tests on its northeastern Alberta employees.
A union representing 3,000 workers is seeking an injunction to prevent the company from proceeding with the tests, which the company planned to implement on Friday.
After hearing extensive arguments from both sides in an Edmonton court room on Thursday, Justice Paul Belzil told both parties he will deliver a written decision next Thursday.
It’s the latest development between Suncor and Unifor 707A, which have been fighting over the issue since 2012, when Suncor introduced the tests for workers in the most safety-sensitive jobs.
“I believe the judge was very, very well-versed in this case,” said Ken Smith, president of Unifor 707A. “He definitely had given it a lot of thought and we feel optimistic.”
Suncor declined to comment until after the decision.
Back-and-forth battle continues
But Suncor is the most recent victor in the ongoing battle.
In the spring of 2016, Justice Blair Nixon overturned arbitration that favoured the union’s position that the random testing would violate workers’ privacy.