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Just four of 26 job applicants pass mining contractor’s drug test

by Greg Klein | July 20, 2015

A Saskatchewan-based mining contractor turned down 22 of 26 job applicants last month due to drug use, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reported July 20. Xtreme Mining and Demolition owner Leonard Banga told the paper the rejections occurred over 10 days, despite applicants getting 24 hours’ notice of the tests. “I guess they knew they were getting tested and still decided to do coke,” the StarPhoenix quoted him.

One man attempted to give a sample by hiding a bag of urine and a tube under his armpit.—The Saskatoon StarPhoenix

“Most of the failures—17 of them—were for cocaine rather than ‘softer’ drugs like marijuana,” the article continued. “Marijuana was detected in one sample and amphetamines in another. Two other samples detected agents attempting to mask illicit drug use and one man attempted to give a sample by hiding a bag of urine and a tube under his armpit.”

Not only are more people flunking the tests than before, but an increasing number are older men with families. Yet Banga said most of the positions pay between $30 and $45 an hour, while some jobs farther north offer rates up to $65. The positions require no formal education and only a few months of training, the StarPhoenix stated.

Xtreme currently has over 120 employees, many working in Saskatchewan potash mines, according to the company’s website. Xtreme also conducts explosive demolition in Canada and abroad.

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