300 drivers fired after testing positive for marijuana: Company stands firm on sackings

A Pretoria-based trucking company has defended its decision to dismiss 300 of its drivers who tested positive for dagga.

"Yes, unfortunately we had to dismiss 300 of our truck drivers after they tested positive for marijuana use, which is in violation of our company Innovative Staffing Solutions' code of conduct," Arnoux Maré, MD of Innovative Staffing Solutions told News 24 on Wednesday.

This comes after the Constitutional Court decriminalised the private use of dagga in South Africa.

ALSO READ: Why it's a good thing the ConCourt legalised private use of marijuana

Management, however, insists that the Constitutional Court ruling has nothing to do with the regular testing of its drivers.

"Testing for illegal substances and alcohol abuse while on duty has been part and parcel of our procedures since we opened our company many years ago. All drivers at Innovative Staffing Solutions sign a contract that specifies the terms of their employment.

"The contract states that the employee undertakes and understands that he/she is not allowed to work or be on either the employer's, a client's or any premises where working duties are performed, while under the influence of alcohol and/ or intoxicating drugs," Maré explained.

Risk

Innovative Solutions stood by its decision because, in its view, the effects of the use of marijuana could be detectable in the bloodstream days after it was originally consumed.

"A trucker driving under the influence of cannabis can be likened to a non-coherent person barrelling a 60-ton missile down the road at 80 to 100km/h. If he or she loses control of the vehicle, innocent people are likely to lose their lives and infrastructure could be seriously damaged," Maré said.

He said this increased risk of hurting people and incurring damage to personal or public property was too high for the company.

"Our drivers are expected to act responsibly. After all, they are responsible for ensuring valuable vehicles and their cargo gets from one destination to the next safely." 

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