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TTC confirms two unionized employees tested positive for drugs, alcohol

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, May 11th, 2017

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The TTC has confirmed that random drug and alcohol tests on two unionized employees earlier this week have come back positive.

Spokesperson Brad Ross told CityNews the first positive test was for alcohol while the second was for drugs.

Ross stressed that the employee who tested positive for alcohol isn’t a vehicle operator but holds a “safety sensitive” position with the transit commission.

“It was not an operator, I can tell you that, however we need to ensure that everybody who has a role to play in keeping the operations safe, is fit for duty,” Ross said.

The employee was given a breathalyzer test and blew over .04, which is the TTC’s threshold for impairment on the job.

“The breathalyzer is immediate and was positive so they are suspended with pay,” Ross added.

Further lab tests are being conducted to confirm the breathalyzer results.

The second positive test for drugs was confirmed late Wednesday but Ross did not elaborate on the employees position or what illegal substance was found in the test except to say that the level of the drug detected was over the cut-off established for the drug in question. Marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines and PCP are among the drugs being tested for.

The Amalgamated Transit Union fought the random testing in court, saying it supported incident-based testing, but argued that random testing was intrusive and a human rights violation.

A judge ruled in favour of the random testing, saying public safety outweighs privacy concerns.

“The fact that two failed tests were registered in the first three days of testing indicates that the TTC is justified in implementing this program,” said TTC CEO Andy Byford.

“While these initial test failures are concerning, the overwhelming majority of TTC employees, including those in safety sensitive positions, are professionals that attend work fit for duty and with the safety of the their

With files from The Canadian Press

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