Ruling upholds ban on random testing February 28, 2018

FORT MCMURRAY—The Alberta Court of Appeal has upheld an injunction on random drug and alcohol testing of Suncor employees in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

There is no evidence that random testing improves safety, which is why Unifor is committed to more reliable methods to keep our members safe on the job while respecting their dignity,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Without violating workers’ basic rights, high levels of workplace safety with education and prevention can be achieved.”

The injunction was granted at Unifor Local 707A’s request on December 15, 2017. Unifor has filed for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada to uphold an arbitration board’s ban on random testing. The union says random testing violates the fundamental rights of workers to privacy, respect, bodily integrity, and dignity.

In 2012, the union, which at the time was known as the Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers’ Union, filed a grievance and applied for an injunction when Suncor announced the unilateral implementation of random drug and alcohol testing in its Fort McMurray Oilsands operations. In March 2014 an arbitration panel ruled that the ban violated workers’ rights, but both a judicial review and then the Court of Appeal later set aside the panel’s decision, calling for a new arbitration board to hear the grievance.

“Suncor employees are already subjected to more alcohol and drug testing than Alberta’s drivers,” said Ken Smith, President of Unifor Local 707A, referring to Suncor tests following virtually every workplace incident. In contrast, the police can only demand that a driver submit to drug and alcohol testing if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe the driver is impaired.

This basically says that until the Supreme Court of Canada rules on CEP/Unifor’ s grievance requesting a ban is heard and decided, that an injunction is in place prohibiting Suncor from conducting random
Richard Exner

Chief Shop Steward
Unifor Local 594
Regina, Sask
Phone: (306) 721-4403
Cell: (306) 530-9965

Lets End Bullying


Join with us tomorrow to unite against homophobia and bullying in your workplace and community.

Take action on Wednesday, February 28.

Wear a pink shirt on February 28.  By wearing your pink shirt, and sharing that image online, you can help to show that the union is speaking out against homophobic bullying and harassment. By participating in Pink Shirt Day this year, we ask that you make the promise to stand for kindness every single day.

Share your pictures and messages of support for LGBTQ workers and students with us or online, on Facebook or Twitter, and we will share them with the wider Unifor family. Don’t have a pink shirt? Use this shareable or take a photo with this poster.

What is Pink Shirt Day?

Unifor recognizes Pink Shirt Day to support the trailblazing work of youth who took collective action against bullying. Pink Shirt Day began in Berwick, Nova Scotia in 2007 when David Shepherd, Travis Price and a large group of students decided to defend their peer who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. In a show of solidarity, they, and many students turned up to school the next day wearing pink shirts.

In solidarity,

Jerry Dias, National President

International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day (RSI Day)

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

On February 28, we mark the International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day (RSI Day). Injured workers and labour activists founded RSI Day as an annual event to raise awareness and increase protection against these serious, and potentially disabling, injuries which are often incurred on the job.

Unifor will continue to call on all provinces and territories to expand mandatory ergonomic regulations. All governments must adopt strong workplace regulations, backed by robust enforcement, to protect workers from painful, costly and unnecessary injuries.

On RSI Day and on every day, we encourage all members to take a moment to examine their workspace to identify hazards that could lead to RSIs and to bring any concerns to your local health and safety representatives. Unifor is interested in your experience at work and how we can enhance advocating for better-designed work spaces and relief from repetitive tasks that can lead to injury. Please take a moment to tell us about your repetitive strain injury/ injuries and help us create a profile of RSIs in Unifor by taking the survey at:  To view or share on Facebook visit: 

You can find additional information on RSIs along with a series of fact sheets on how to avoid injury at

Work safe and stay healthy.

In solidarity / En toute solidarité,


National Health and Safety Department 

UNIFOR Scholarships


Unifor recognizes that the costs associated with post-secondary education is a challenge for many working-class families.  To assist in making education more accessible, we’ve established 28 scholarships of $2,000.00 each.  Five of these scholarships are administered by the Quebec Council with a separate application form (see  Residents of Quebec must apply using that application process.

The scholarships are awarded to children of Unifor members in good standing.  Students must be entering their first year of full-time post-secondary education (university, community college, technological institute, trade school, etc.) in a public Canadian institution.  One of these scholarships will also be available to a Unifor member with at least one year seniority.

Detailed information about eligibility and how to apply for a scholarship can be found at

In solidarity,

Tim Carrie

Director of Education