By Nancy I. Maanao
Seaport general manager Rory Respicio is cracking down on illegal drug use among his employees after two of them literally ran away from a pop drug test of their division.
"These two employees' respective supervisors, leaders, and a superintendent allegedly have been aware of these two employees' suspected behavior before this drug test was conducted," Mr. Respicio wrote in a memorandum to all port employees today. "As a result, the two employees who evaded the drug testing submitted their resignation letters and are no longer employed by the Port."
Mr. Respicio also said that another employee "posted a message on his division's WhatsApp chat warning employees not to bring illegal items into the Port compound because Port Police is conducting random searches."
"I issued a notice of proposed adverse action to the employee who posted the warning message for obstructing the drug-free workplace policy," Mr. Respicio wrote. He also issued NPAAs to a supervisor, two leaders, and a superintendent "for willfully endangering Port employees' lives and for dereliction of their duties and responsibilities in providing a safe, drug-free workplace."
The following is part of a statement Mr. Respicio provided to Kandit News about this matter:
"Just last month I issued a memo to all employees regarding our Drug-Free Workplace Program and encouraged employees who are using drugs and alcohol during working hours to seek assistance through our Employee Assistance Program. I also warned all supervisors, including division heads, that if they have reasonable suspicion that any employee under their supervision is using drugs illegally then they must document such behavior and request that they be drug tested. I also warned them that failure to report such reasonable suspicion would subject the respective employee’s leader and all leadership positions all the way up the chain of command to appropriate disciplinary action by me.
"As a result of Monday’s surprise drug test we have two employees who are no longer employed at the Port and I have issued five other proposed adverse actions in connection with the situation.
"We must end the acceptance or practice of looking the other way when Port employees are knowingly under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Choosing to do nothing remains a tragedy just waiting to happen.
"I want to thank the employees for their understanding and their commitment to keeping the Port Authority of Guam a drug-free workplace."