Guinness workers opposing alcohol testing

Friday 06 July 2007 14.12
Workplace alcohol testing - Guinness workers take a stand
Workplace alcohol testing - Guinness workers take a stand

Guinness workers are leading opposition within the trade union movement to mandatory alcohol testing in the workplace.

Delegates at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions conference in Bundoran have passed a motion from the Guinness Staff Union opposing mandatory alcohol testing in the workplace and describing it as an abuse of human rights.

The motion commits Congress to opposing mandatory testing while attempting to agree a national alcohol in the workplace policy.

Sean Mackell, General Secretary of the Guinness Staff Union, said the motion was not about workers in the alcohol union trying to guard a product that they make.

He said that the test for whether mandatory testing was appropriate should be whether the person could be impaired in doing their job.

Mr Mackell added that with mandatory testing, a secretary typing a letter who had a few glasses of wine the night before could be subjected to an invasive test and could lose his or her job for having a minuscule amount of alcohol in their system.