CALGARY – Energy giant Suncor Energy has won another victory in a years-long legal battle over random drug and alcohol testing at its northeastern Alberta oilsands sites.
Suncor started randomly testing staff in safety-sensitive jobs in 2012, but the union representing many of those workers called it an infringement of privacy.
The majority of an arbitration panel ruled in favour of Unifor, but that decision was quashed by Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Blair Nixon last year.
Unifor appealed Nixon’s ruling, but three judges with the Alberta Court of Appeal have unanimously dismissed the union’s challenge.
The Appeal Court judges say they agree with Nixon that the matter should heard by a fresh arbitration panel.
Suncor spokeswoman Nicole Fisher says the company is pleased with the judgement because safety is one of its core values.
But Unifor called the Court of Appeal decision a gross violation of workers’ rights and vowed to continue its fight.
“We will take all available action to fight this abusive policy, including a potential motion to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada,” said Ken Smith, President of Unifor Local 707A.
The arbitration panel heard that there were nearly 3,400 workers represented by Unifor at Suncor’s (TSX:SU) facilities at the time of the grievance.