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Random drug testing at Suncor will start in 2019

Suncor's base plant with upgraders in the oil sands in Fort McMurray Alta, on Monday June 13, 2017. Canada's oilsands industry, hard hit by a price storm earlier this year blamed on tight pipeline capacity out of Western Canada, is sailing towards a pricing typhoon stirred up by new fuel standards for the international shipping industry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Suncor and Unifor have come to a settlement that will allow the oilsands company to move forward with random drug testing.

Suncor began testing staff in safety-sensitive jobs six years ago, prompting Unifor, which represents some 3,000 workers at the site,  to file a grievance claiming the tests infringe privacy, which ultimately got shot down by the Supreme Court in June.

Suncor spokesperson Sneh Seetal told MyMcMurray they are pleased with the deal knowing it will make their workplace safer.

“Tragically there have been serious injuries and fatalities where alcohol or drugs were a factor and our position is that one fatality is one to many,” said Seetal. “The driver for us behind adding random testing to that already comprehends this program so that we would send people home safely to their loved ones at the end of every shift.”

Suncor will be using a third party provider to conduct the testing which will begin in the first quarter of 2019.

Information on how the testing will be done will be shared with employees in the coming months.

“We understand the concerns around privacy and that why were are going to go through this in as respectful of a manner as possible,” said Seetal.

In the meantime she says the company is encouraging employees to reach out to their supervisors if they have any concerns.