Missing the point

The Council of Trade Unions has wants pre-employment drug testing for beneficiaries scrapped.

. . .  The pre-employment drug test policy, introduced in July last year, makes testing compulsory for some jobs.

The CTU said it should be scrapped after the ministry revealed it has no data on the amount of money saved by cutting the benefits of those who have failed the tests. . .

The CTU has been against this policy, introduced by National, from the start and this is just another excuse to oppose it.

But they’re missing the point of the policy.

Unemployed beneficiaries are supposed to be work-ready and someone who tests positive for drugs won’t be.

If the unions put their concern for workers ahead of their political allegiance to Labour they would get the point and also understand the danger workers under the influence of drugs could pose not just to themselves but to other workers.

10 Responses to Missing the point

  1. AngryTory says:

    If the unions put their concern for workers ahead of their political allegiance to Labour

    If they did that, they’d see that mandatory drug testing should be required for all “workers”; they’d see that the minimum wage just keeps “workers” out of jobs; they’d’ see that collective bargaining does nothing except harm the economy; they see that state control of health and education destroys productivity; they see that the benefit “system” and National™ Super are nothing more than yet another drain on the productive 10% – the nett tax payers.

    So they’d go out of business after donating all their assets to ACT.

    not going to happen any time soon.

  2. Andrei says:

    I think we should make all Members of Parliament pee in a jar every time they enter the building a condition of their employment.

    But it will never happen, the indignities our rulers come up with to remind the little people they have them in their power are for the little people and not for the exalted

  3. inventory2 says:

    On one hand the CTU is (rightly) concerned about the rising number of deaths in forestry. Then on the other hand they want pre-employment drug tests for beneficiaries stopped. Surely the CTU isn’t arguing that only certain industries should be drug-free.

  4. Andrei says:

    I’ve not heard that in any of the nine forestry deaths that have occurred in the past 12 months that drugs were in any way implicated and as I understand it forestry workers are drug tested anyway.

    And given that modern analytical chemistry is capable of detecting the tiniest trace amounts of any chemical bullshit artists and/or politicians with agendas ask of it you can count on it that if so much as one molecule of a substance deemed to be a marker for a drug had been detected the usual suspects would be jumping up and down, wetting their pants in delight.

    So your comment is a big red herring.

    But weenie politicians never the less cannot allow the chance to come up with ever more intrusive laws to push around people and get in their faces – “public safety” is often an excuse used to justify these excesses.

    Anybody with half a brain knows that this drug testing regime will achieve nothing and its real purpose is not to make New Zealand a better, safer place but to feed raw meet to the baser elements among National’s supporters who love nothing better than to push less fortunate people around

  5. TraceyS says:

    When I was a kid, my father had a serious mishap with a lofty pinus radiata and was no doubt under some sort of influence.

    From a family perspective (ie. wife and kids), it’s something you’d want to avoid at all costs.

    Are there many trees in parliament Andrei? Quad bikes?

    The people at issue here are likely to be doing manual, outdoors work if they can get it. They need to be sober even if the work is mowing lawns.

    The message about drugs and alcohol filters up to the next level, ie. those who are already in the entry-level jobs. So sure, the unemployed “little-guy” has his benefit docked, and he helps make the workplace safer for when he evenetually gets himself a job. Not fair, but not bad either. Consequences often land a bit randomly.

  6. TraceyS says:

    Really Andrei? Pre-employment, random testing, and testing where there is just cause are used in forestry but are not perfect tools. Substances may not be detectable on the day and that is quite often a chance thing with certain people. But if there is sometimes people coming to work with some level of substance affecting them then it contributes to an overall culture. Very hard for employers to enforce workplace change if some of the workforce are sometimes not too switched on at work – maybe not all of the time, but enough to make it hard to get things to cement.

  7. Richard says:

    Andriei, Agree with your sentiment- but we should not blame it on MMP – MoP have been guily of being hypocrites for years.

  8. TraceyS says:

    Just watched http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/fears-beneficiaries-could-use-legal-drugs-dodge-tests-5799193 where Council of Trade Unions vice president Richard Wagstaff said “with low numbers failing the drug tests, the policy should be changed.”

    Well I wonder if he considered that the low numbers failing the tests are because people are actually changing their behaviour in order to find work? It’s not as if they had no warning of it.

    But surely people haven’t changed their drug-taking behaviour so quickly? Who on earth would value a job THAT much!

    How little faith some people have in others. So sad, that attitude that people can’t change their addictive habits and therefore must move from one drug to another. Some people just love to see that others are permanently trapped.

  9. Andrei says:

    Tracey, Tracey Tracey;

    How many serious industrial accidents do you suppose this ghasty intrusive policy will prevent? And is the vanishing small number worth the price in human dignity (other people’s dignity, not yours, I suspect) paid.

    Of course dealing with SIFs (Single Issue Fanatics) lofic and reason fly out the window.

    We are human beings and it is the human condition that bad things happen, even to good people and this includes industrial accidents.

    Of course we can do things to mitigate these things, we can make machines safer, we can change operating procedures etc and in so doing reduce the incidence and harm caused by them. But we cannot eliminate them and people will continue to screw up for a a multitude of reasons because that’s what human beings do.

    Of course wowsers i.e. SIFs who hate alcohol and drugs will focus on this one cause which may lead to someone screwing up, to the exclusion of all others and agitate for the Government to use coercion to stop people doing what people have been doing since the stone age, ingesting substances that help them cope with this hostile world whether it be alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, kava, coffee etc etc etc

    In reality of course it is usually easy to detect when someone is intoxicated to the extent that their performance is significantly impaired and if someone is working in such a state they should be sent home without pay or their employment terminated. There is no argument here from the reasonable

    But if it takes high precision analytical chemistry to detect the disapproved of substance in the naughty persons body then there is only a problem in the tiny mind of an SIF. Not that any rational argument ever worked with the sluggish intellects that SIFs display.

    And no Government will pass up the opportunity to pass new laws and extend control over their subjects, treating them ever more like naughty children and not responsible adults with their own autonomy and ability to make decisions, good or bad for themselves.

    Anyway when it comes to stopping human beings from taking drugs you are pissing in the wind, this foible is part of the rich tapestry of human behavior and has been since the stone age and while multiple attempts have been made over the generations to stop people from doing this they have always failed and always will. And the long term effects of these initiatives have always ended up with the “cure” being worse for society than the disease.

    Meanwhile I find it incredibly offensive that our Government is coercing people to pee into cups so that their biochemistry may be analysed – it doesn’t effect me but to quote your own quote from yesterday

    “All that it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.” (Burke).

  10. TraceyS says:

    Yes, I have asked people to pee in a cup. So too have I peed in a cup before and will do it again when called to. No slight on my dignity either. One benefit of course is that the drug test might also pick up a serious medical condition that you might rather know about sooner than later. You see Andrei, there are no all good or all bad answers. A lot comes down to the dignity of the person handling the situation and how they approach others, whether they truly care about the people and the level of respect they are willing and able to feel and show.

    This policy is more about getting people into work than H&S although it contributes to that in a more roundabout way. Before judging its success we should wait until the end of 2014 and see if more people have managed to find jobs. Looking at failed tests is a nonsense way to evaluate progress. Focusing on failure, generally is a miserable way to look at things.

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