First Amazon & Now GM Are Having Employee Issues Due To Cannabis Testing Policies

Amazon admitted they’d been forced into a corner and decided to hold back on the testing just to attract workers. Now GM have admitted they are in the same boat but they, as yet, haven’t decided to change policies with regard to testing.

The Drive reports

GM’s Policy on Cannabis Use Partly to Blame for Worker Shortage: UAW

One of the biggest obstacles in hiring new workers, according to the Detroit Free Press, is that they simply aren’t as plentiful as they once were, and those looking for jobs may not fit the optimal worker pool for GM. To make matters even more difficult, many of those who are a good fit either reject the sub-$17 per hour starting wage, or are unable to pass the automaker’s drug test which includes screening for cannabis.


With parts becoming available and production capacity increasing, GM is reportedly looking to hire at least 450 part-time employees at Flint, and another 275 at Fort Wayne.

According to United Auto Workers Local 598 Shop Chairman Eric Welter, this has proven to be a challenge.

At the time of writing, GM has 66 open production positions across the country. Staffing agencies have only been sending Welter between 22 and 25 potential employees each week that could fill the open positions. GM has since turned to hiring fairs and other means to attract talent; however, potentially interested laborers are reportedly turning down the opportunity to work at the plant due to the pay rate being too low at $16.67 per hour. Additionally, there’s the odd-hour shifts and the company’s policy on drug testing for cannabis.

To put the last point into perspective, cannabis is legal in Michigan. In fact, medicinal use has been allowed there since voters helped pass it into law back in 2008, making it the 13th of 36 states that permit the use of the drug for therapeutic or health purposes. Recreational use is also permitted in Michigan, making it one of the 16 states where it’s either decriminalized or outright legal.

GM has five assembly plants in the state of Michigan, plus several propulsion factories, metal centers, and component holding facilities; you’ll also find its sole tooling center and battery assembly location there. Yet the use of cannabis is forbidden for its employees. To make matters more complicated, employee drug screenings are performed on hair specimens, meaning it can trace the use of substances including cannabis for weeks.

Welter says that when potential applicants learn that the test includes cannabis, they simply won’t show up to the interview.

“We’re looking to hire temps like crazy, we just can’t get them,” said Rich LeTourneau, shop chairman at GM’s Fort Wayne Assembly plant, to the Detroit Free Press. “Nobody wants to come to work here.”


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