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Union wants weaker drug screening for mine workers.

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A major union plans legal challenges against mining contractors who use urine samples for drug and alcohol tests after a court upheld a decision to allow only the saliva method.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said it would rely on a recent Fair Work Commission decision that upheld an order for NSW-based Endeavour Energy to use only saliva swabs.

The commission deemed urine tests "unjust and unreasonable".

Mining companies prefer urine testing because studies show this method can detect substances such as heroin, cocaine and cannabis used in the preceding few months.

Saliva swab tests reveal cannabis used up to 12 hours previously and harder drugs used up to only three days earlier.

Mining workers caught with drugs in their system face cautions or dismissal.




Surely a zero policy is the safest policy, and the safest policy would be a thorough testing regime?

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Can't see what's unjust and unreasonable; the only unreasonable thing about the urine test is they give us girlies the same pot to pee in that the boys have, so you have to squat over the bowl, trying to fit a small cup over the approximate right area and not get performance anxiety as the drug tester has to be in the same room as you...


If you work on a mine site, there's things you accept; long hours, hard conditions and having to pee in front of a random are all parts of it. If you can't accept that, go do something else.

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Surely what people do in their spare time bears no relevance to their working hours. Obviously being under the influence or hung over does have an impact.

But having fun on your time off and cutting loose a little, has no relevance on your working ability.

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