Posted 6 years ago on Jan. 13, 2012, 2:52 a.m. EST by mserfas
from Ashland, PA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
First, I should say I've never smoked tobacco in my life and have no desire to. But what I'm reading in Pennsylvania local news still sounds like a terrible precedent to me. http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120109/NEWS/201090331 Workers are being forced to submit to a new type of "drug testing", for nicotine, which is legal in 20 states including Pennsylvania.
To me this seems like yet another escalation of employer control over employees. When workers are denied the right to earn a living by high, persistent systemic unemployment, and employment more and more requires submission to arbitrary measures - when these can include so many things like mandatory overtime or penalties for personal statements outside the workplace, or use of company phones or electronic devices for the purposes of tracking them (see http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123024596 ) - the system of wage labor truly begins to merit derogatory descriptions like "wage slavery". This testing is only another tool in this increasing encroachment against the individual, but a powerful precedent. While drug testing itself is offensive to any decent civil libertarian, nicotine testing involves the employer becoming a 24-hour nanny even where legal substances and activities are involved, abusing the medical system to make a more thorough invasion of personal privacy.
People must not accept their reduction to mere serfdom, to objects owned in every regard, night and day, under penalty of artificially and deliberately imposed poverty. But OWS remains one of very few voices left with another vision (any other vision) for how our country should be.