Alcohol testing ruled OK for Irving mill
A labour dispute in Saint John about the Irving Pulp and Paper Ltd.'s practice of random alcohol testing has led to a ruling in favour of the company.
The company adopted the practice in 2006 for its employees.
Unionized workers at the mill filed a grievance over the company's policy of randomly selecting workers in some positions to take a breathalyzer and won in arbitration in 2009.
But, a judicial review overturned that ruling and the union then appealed.
Earlier this month, an appeal court again dismissed the grievance, ruling that the mill qualifies as an inherently dangerous workplace and the appeal is of importance to the public at large.
Irving spokesman Geoff Britt said the company is pleased with the decision.
"It's very non-discriminatory process, it's like every year 10 per cent of the workforce is picked by computers so it's really a proactive safety measure," he said Wednesday.
"It's in the best interest of our employees, and the mill and the community."
Meanwhile, union officials said they're reviewing the decision.
They aren't ruling out the possibility of filing a leave to appeal with the Supreme Court of Canada.
Mike MacMullin, the mill worker's union president, told CBC News last June the policy was a drastic sanction on an individual's rights.
"We believe it's somewhat of an invasion on a person's privacy and there was no just cause for this type of action against us."