Pubdate: Thu, 15 Aug 2002
Source: Eugene Weekly (OR)
Copyright: 2002 Eugene Weekly
Author: Norm Maxwell


Recently, the bargaining unit members of American Federation of Government 
Employees Local 1911 (Eugene District BLM) were informed that all "militia" 
(not full-time) wildland fire fighters would submit to random drug testing. 
Furthermore, this fiat was not a "change in working conditions," and 
therefore the implementation would not be bargained with Local 1911.

We had successfully defeated this nonsense 15 years ago with an injunction 
by Judge Greene stating that drug testing would be permitted for probable 
cause only. Apparently the new administration had forgotten this and 
assumed that we would just fill bottles because June was National Drug 
Hysteria Month.

Our wildland fire fighters are already searched luggage and person EVERY 
time they get on a commercial airplane to travel to a fire. By all means, 
let's harass them even more so they will cease to fight fire. They are 

Interestingly enough, while the powers above feel it is OK to humiliate 
rank and file fire fighters with random drug testing, no provision was made 
to force the high level fire management in charge of the grunts to fill 
bottles. I'm sure this is a simple oversight on somebody's part.

AFGE Local 1911 has led the way in resisting this totalitarian enactment 
from Big Brother among the BLM districts in Oregon. Although it ain't over, 
the powers above have discovered that "Because We Say So" doesn't 
necessarily cut any ice around here. Remember, just say NO to drug testing.

Norm Maxwell

Steward, Local 1911
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