Why do unions oppose drug testing? Don’t they care for safety?

The unions usually bang on about workplace safety. And they have a point mostly.

No one wants people to go to work and be put at risk of serious injury or worse.

Yet we constantly see unions opposing drug testing. Why?

A union has criticised plans to drug test workers for kava as discriminatory – but the company involved has categorically denied the claim.

In a statement yesterday, the First Union said Goodman Fielder’s employees at the Quality Bakers site in Dunedin would be subject to testing for kava.

However, both the company and the Drug Detection Agency, which Goodman Fielder has contracted to carry out drug testing, have denied workers would be tested for kava.

The union is standing by its claim, and says such testing would be discriminatory,

“Classing kava as a drug will have a racist impact. It effectively means targeting Pasifika people,” First Union organiser Jerome Mika said.

The roots of the kava plant are used to produce a drink which has a sedative effect. It is used throughout the Pacific and is known as ‘ava in Samoa and ‘awa in Hawaii.

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Breaking News: Pacific Islands Forum deals to Fiji

….oh wait, they haven’t, can’t and won’t. This is the biggest news out of the Pacific Islands Forum so far. John Key’s take on kava. Once again the Commodore has out-manouevred NZ and Australia, but then we shouldn’t be surprised, Fiji is very well briefed these days by China.

Emmerson has it right though at just how parlous relations have become in the Pacific and just how inept Murray McCully his foreign minister has handled events since taking over from the dictatorship of Clark.

Another foreign affairs failure in Vanuatu


Quote of the day – John Key

“I tried the kava. I wouldn’t have nine kavas, in the same way I wouldn’t have nine beers,” Mr Key told reporters yesterday.

And nor should he. Kava sneaks up on you. It is the sort of beverage that you can drink for long periods of time and feel completely fine in the head…until you try to stand up. Eventually you give up trying and and crawl.

What is remarkable about this statement is two things. Firstly the Prime Minister said it. Could anyone except the most sycophantic lickspittle of Helen Clark imagine her even admitting to drinking so much as a sip of chardonnay. Secondly he admits to casually to being a less than nine beer drinker. Why nine? Why that number? Why not ten, eight or two even. Anyone who has ever drunk kava knows that even two kavas is pushing the boundaries of taste. So why nine?

Would nine beers push nine over the limit that Labour will do anything to save even one life?

Actually there is a third reason why this is a remarkable statement. Why is this even news? Is this how far Kevin Taylor has to stoop to get John Key mentioned in the papers now. I can imagine Scooter running off to the press….

“Hey, hey guys John just said that he wouldn’t have nine kavas like he would have nine beers…..pretty cool huh…can you run that in the front section….wait…wait…don’t go…I’ve got a photo here of John drinking kava…yes that’s me leaning in to get in shot with a recording device…I have quite a collection of John’s slurping sounds to put up on Facebook later.”