On March 29, PG&E informed IBEW Local 1245 that it had made the unilateral decision to include approximately 220 local office customer service representatives and senior service representatives in the Department of Transportation pipeline drug testing pool.
Local 1245 strongly objects to this. We do not believe that, under any sensible reading of the regulations, local office representatives are “safety sensitive” employees who should be included in the drug testing pool. We know that urine testing does not establish impairment, and that urine testing is an invasion of privacy. We have amended the Business Manager’s grievance to include these employees, and will be amending our charge with the National Labor Relations Board as well. We are also exploring the possibility of litigation against PG&E for this violation of our members’ privacy.
At no point in the last 21 years has PG&E proposed including local office representatives in the drug testing pool. The Company unilaterally announced its intention to do so on March 29, without even the pretense of negotiations. We are troubled by this abrogation of the Company’s duty to bargain with Local 1245. We believe that it displays an alarming arrogance and anti-union sentiment that is not in keeping with the collaborative relationship that we strive for and which benefits us both in these times of numerous challenges to the Company’s existence.
We will keep you posted on this website and at unit meetings on the status of this issue.
–Tom Dalzell, IBEW 1245 Business Manager