Carter Holt Harvey penalised for unlawful drug test

23 July, 2015

Carter Holt Harvey have been ordered to pay $10,000 to the EPMU after unlawfully using the pretext of a random drug and alcohol test to deny site access to a local union organiser.

EPMU organiser Corey Wallace was banned from the Carter Holt Harvey site in Nelson after he refused to take a so-called “random” drug test ordered by management.

“Our members at Carter Holt Harvey were denied proper representation because their boss broke the rules,” says Alan Clarence, EPMU director of organising for the South Island.                                                                                                               

“There was nothing ‘random’ about the drug test they demanded.”

“We are very happy that the Employment Relations Authority has found that Carter Holt Harvey’s actions were unlawful, and in breach of its good faith obligations.

“Random drug and alcohol testing in safety sensitive environments is lawful, for the purposes of health and safety. But in this case, Carter Holt Harvey simply misused their power.  

“Employers don’t have an unfettered right to impose random drug and alcohol testing across all areas of their organisation.  Employers like Carter Holt Harvey can’t simply deem their entire workplace to be safety sensitive where the work in question carries no heightened safety risks. 

“In this case Mr Wallace was holding a union meeting in a disused administration building. There were no grounds for a drug test." 

Carter Holt Harvey has been ordered to pay $10,000 to the union and grant Mr Wallace immediate access to their site.




For more information contact: 

Alan Clarence, EPMU director of organising: 0275 482 434
Stephanie Rodgers, EPMU communications officer: 022 269 1170