Laval, January 24, 2018 – Saint-Leonard-Saint-Michel Liberal MP Nicola Di Iorio said he believes that truck drivers should be required to undergo random testing for cannabis.
The Teamsters Union opposes this possible measure not only because it would violate workers’ right to privacy, but also, because a positive test result does not necessarily prove that the person is intoxicated. For example, a truck driver may have used cannabis 72 hours before driving and have a positive test result without being impaired.
In addition, the technology currently used to measure THC levels in the blood is not entirely reliable and test results could be challenged in court.
“Everyone is in favour of improving our road safety record, says Teamsters Canada President François Laporte. But it would be wrong to automatically associate road safety with drug use.”
Reversing the deregulation of the trucking industry would be a better place to start. The regulatory relief introduced in the 1980s had perverse effects, such as the emergence of small transport companies offering cut-throat delivery rates. This led to the dramatic deterioration of working conditions for drivers and to a number of structural problems that have been undermining the industry for some 30 years.
“Instead of talking about depriving of workers’ basic rights, the Member of Parliament would be well-advised to promote reasonable hours of work and decent working conditions for truck drivers,” the Union leader adds. “This would have a direct and positive impact on road safety because our members would no longer need to work 50-60 hours a week just to make ends meet.”
The Teamsters union represents close to 125,000 workers across Canada, including 15,000 truck drivers in Canada. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has 1.4 million members in North America.
Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Communications and Public Affairs