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Workplace Drug Testing
This is the letter that The Times Journal refused to print.
Several letters appeared in last weekís Times-Journal* defending present workplace drug testing practices. The writers seemed to have such distorted perceptions of the issue, that I became curious as to what their urine tests might reveal.
First of all, employers have absolutely no business poking their noses into the private lives of their employees. What an individual chooses to do after he or she punches out of work, is not their bossís business.
Unless a worker is visibly impaired as a result of his or her abuse of elicit substances, and incapable of performing basic job functions effectively and safely, an employer has no need to know whether an employee uses drugs recreationally. Yes, people are entitled to safe and drug free workplaces, but urine screening is not necessary. See if a person comes in to work stumbling all over the place, and reeking of booze, you donít need to analyze their urine to know that it would probably be prudent to keep him or her away from heavy machinery, Even the most passionate civil libertarian would probably agree with that.
In most cases however, urine testing isnít used to provide workers with a safe working environment, but instead to pry into the lives of American citizens. It creates a working environment that is eerily reminiscent of George Orwellís 1984. An omnipresent government monitoring itís citizens every move. How far are we from this? We live under a backwards militaristic government that routinely disregards the constitution, enforcing an insane war on drugs that has become in effect, a war on the American people and our freedoms. How far off is Big Brother and the Thought Police? Even more frustrating than watching our civil rights deteriorate and not being able to do anything about it, is the fact that some have actually been duped into believing that it is for their own good. It is a sad day when people are being oppressed and donít even know it.
I find it rather interesting that in the same issue of the Times Journal that Denise Wainwright praises her employer Guilford Mills, for their dedication and vigilance in creating a safe, drug free environment by drug testing their employees, the front page featured a story about how the plant recently received a bomb threat and management didnít even bother to inform the workers. (sic)
They just let them keep on working like nothing was going on. That is absolutely outrageous. Who really believes that they give a damn about providing workers with a safe working environment?
Bertha "holding it in" Hann
*The Times Journal is the weekly newspaper of Cobleskill, NY. A neighboring community.