06/26/2013 10:44 EDT | Updated 08/26/2013 05:12 EDT

Random drug testing continues at Teck mines despite ruling

B.C.'s biggest mining company says it will keep randomly testing workers for drugs and alcohol even though the Supreme Court has called the practice 'unreasonable.'

Teck Resources implemented random testing at its five B.C. coal mines late last year.

But a Supreme Court of Canada ruling in New Brunswick overturned Irving Pulp and Paper Ltd.’s right to impose mandatory, random alcohol testing, calling it a violation of workers' rights.

Teck spokesperson Nic Milligan says the company plans to continue testing its 4,000 coal miners, managers and contractors despite the ruling.

“We are quite comfortable with the approach we've taken we think it strikes an important balance between the safety of our workforce and the privacy rights of our employees.”

He says circumstances at the two companies are different.

United Steelworkers president Alex Hanson calls Teck’s response unbelievable.

“They are saying our circumstances are different. ‘We're different so we're just gonna push ahead here.’ These are real violations to privacy,” he said.

“Whatever we can do legally, we're going to be going after the company. They should not be doing this. The highest court in the land has tossed out testing without reasonable cause.”

Teck Resources says it plans to continue random drug testing until the courts rule otherwise.