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Sacked over urine
By SUSIE O'BRIEN, industrial reporter
A LABOURER has been sacked for failing to take a urine drug
test because he couldn't produce a sample on cue.
Casual cotton worker, K.G. Cain, is fighting for his job in
the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
Mr Cain, who represented himself in the commission via
telephone, said he did not refuse to take the urine test but
"went in there with the ladies and I tried to pee for them . .
. but I couldn't".
Staff from his employer, Seercott, told the commission Mr Cain
was required by WorkCover to pass a urine drug test but
declined to do so and so was not offered a job.
Though Mr Cain completed an induction and took a drug test,
the first sample he presented was queried and he was required
to test again.
After he failed to provide another sample, he was not hired by
Seercott for the 2003 cotton ginning season.
Union groups are watching the outcome of the New South Wales
case for implications for Victorian companies.
Urine-based drug and alcohol testing is widespread in
Victorian mining and transport companies, and is set to be
introduced into the police force and army. Major employers
such as Qantas and Tenix are also looking to introduce random
Australian Workers Union national secretary Bill Shorten said
the case raised workers' concerns about false test results and
the invasion of privacy.
"Workers support safe workplaces, but this sort of testing is
being used as a sledgehammer to smash a walnut," he said.