judges directions, must be truly random and not discriminatory. Employees, he allowed, will have the right to take the original sample to a lab of their choice for what might be described as a second opinion. All of this, he held, was justified because of the extreme delicacy of the small components handled by employees at Minco. John Blazier, the attorney who represented the company, explained that microchips are easily contaminated and “once put into the stream of commerce are used in sensitive devices.” Some damage of the product handled by Minco employees can not even be detected by quality check systems in place. The finemotor impairment that results from drug use can damage parts that will ultimately be used in pacemakers, weapons, the space shuttle, and the black boxes used in record functioning of commercial aircraft, Blazier explained. What is left to be inferred is that the final quality check could result in the death or serious injury of a large number of people. According to Harrington, the safety argument is not valid. Company officials, he insisted, could not even explain how their product was used in pacemakers or the space shuttle, And, according to Harrington, a chain of quality verification that extends beyond the doors of the Minco warehouse, protects the safety of the product. According to Jennings, a series of quality-checks in the Minco process, followed by rigorous inspection of the product after it is shipped to purchasers is normal procedure. “Orders are sent back [by purchasers] every day,” Jennings said. \(Minco officials refused to be interHarrington said in the Austin American Statesman that the judge’s order sends a strong message to employees in Texas: “If you want to go to work for an employer, you have to surrender your rights. I can’t imagine that this is acceptable to people in Texas.” The judge, Harrington claimed in a later interview, “does not treat the right to privacy as a fundamental right.” The TCLU, he predicted, will take on more drug testing cases and perhaps juries will be more inclined to rule on behalf of plaintiffs. \(Harrington had requested a trial with a judge in the Jennings case and he observed that Hart ruled in favor of workers in a recent case dealing with mandatory polygraph testing of state “are made up of workers.” The issue of drug testing, he said, generated unprecedented support for the TCLU in the forin of contributions, mail, and telephone calls. He predicted that change in drug testing policies will have to come through case law in the courts, except in the most progressive states where legislatures are addressing the issue. The TCLU is also working with city councils, trying to encourage city ordinances to prohibit drug testing. Blazier, who was joined in the case by a Fulbright and Jaworski attorney retained by the 4,500-member Texas Association of Business, called Jennings vs. Minco an important case and questioned the fairness of a company’s being required to defend a reasonable practice in court. “A small company had to spend about $100,000 to defend itself. And the policy is fair,” he said. Minco, according to Blazier was up against “the Texas Civil Liberties Union and they’re very well funded and very well represented.” Minco and their attorneys also had to defend themselves against what he described as a “media bias against drug testing.” “The company policy is fair,” he reiterated, “if an employee has a drug problem, the company will pay for his rehabilitation.” For Brenda Jennings, the trial cost her her vacation which she spent in court and some out of pocket expenses. Her son, she said, has been somewhat confused by his mother’s position and has become something to a celebrity at the Manor elementary school where he is in the third grade. “Only one student, Jennings said, “was against it.” Brenda Jennings continues to work at Minco where she has been demoted with no reduction in pay. She now sits at a microscope where talking, she says, is not permitted and inspects microchips for eight hours a day. For the first time in her three years at Minco she has been “written up” by a supervisor who claimed that Jennings had been discussing her lawsuit with coworkers. She has, she said, two regrets: “I lost, and I learned about employment at will.” “The peace movement is about everyone.” Nina Lopez-Jones, Pantex, 1987 Amarillo UNDER A DRAB-GREEN army tent not far from the Pantex nuclear weapons plant, Nina Lopez-Jones of England and Margaret Prescod of Los Angeles challenged a group of predominantly white, middleclass, feminist peace-activists to go into the ghettos, the barrios, and rural backroads, where the “poorest of the poor” are suffering from “Reagan’s activist living in Fort Worth. wars.” They urged the activists to organize around bread-and-butter issues of immediate importance to women. They spoke of women at the bottom “who have a way of getting left out of everyone else’s movement.” Lopez-Jones and Prescod spoke to some 80 people who had come from half a dozen states for they two-day Mother’s Day weekend meeting at the Peace Farm \(located about three miles from Pantex and established last year by Cindy and Les Breeding and other members of the in part, “Women must make this a day to pray for peace and to deny to governments the lives of any more of our children for cannon fodder in their wars. . . ” “Organizing the poor and working class black women in communities such as Amarillo where the economy is dependent on the nucelar arms race and is causing such great suffering among the poor, is just as important,” Prescod said, “as trying to organize the workers of Pantex around the moral issue,” which has been the emphasis of the Amarillo peace movement. \(Only one worker has left the plant due to his conscience. Pantex is the second largest employer in the area and their average Reminding the group that black women are worse off than they were in the ’60s, Prescod said, “black women are not present in great numbers in the peace movement because black women are struggling, along with other minority women and poor white women, to survive daily and to feed their children. “We must close the doors of places Women and the Peace Movement By Betty Brink The weekend ended with a “women’s peace action” outside the gates of Pantex, a peaceful demonstration reBetty Brink is a freelance writer and membering Julia Ward Howe’s original Mother’s Day Proclamation, which said, THE TEXAS OBSERVER 17
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