Collective Bargaining to Secure Your future

Joining the union is about empowering workers to have a voice in their working conditions. When workers have a say in their workplace, it doesn't mean they are against their employer. They still support their employer's success. It doesn't need to be one-way or another. WestJet's success should transpire into workers having more secure and stable jobs.

It hasn't been that way recently. Non-union WestJet workers watched Onex outsource good airline jobs to third-party contract providers. Unionized workers, on the other hand, continued to negotiate collectively with their employer.

It is becoming evident that a collective voice with the union is the only way to preserve your jobs and negotiate working conditions. Once we have enough support to apply to the labour board for certification, we can begin working with you on what you would like to see in your collective agreement.

Joining the union is about workers coming together to develop a set of rules for you and your workplace, and not a matter of applying another collective agreement to your workplace

In fact, one of the first things we do when we certify a new group of workers is elect a bargaining committee from your peers and send out a bargaining unit survey asking everyone what they would like to see in a collective agreement.

Although scheduling, seniority and shift bids are part of an agreement, you will decide what that means for you and how that is determined. The most crucial language folks need to negotiate is a "no outsourcing clause" to stop any further job loss.

Once a deal is reached it will be presented and voted on by everyone.

CUPE Gains

In the recent five-year collective agreement signed by Onex WestJet and CUPE, cabin crew members successfully extended standby travel privileges for laid-off WestJetters until December 31, 2022. Active cabin crew will receive a signing bonus ranging from $2,000 to nearly $4,000 within one month of the agreement's ratification. They will also receive across-the-board pay increases ranging from 0.5% in 2021 to 2% in years 4 and 5 of the deal. The cabin crew will continue to be eligible to participate in the WestJet Savings Plan (WSP). These economic gains and increased flight privileges will improve workers' lives, but the real improvements in this collective agreement are job security.

This five-year deal has a clause stating that no cabin crew would be laid off due to the company's business relationships with Encore, SWOOP, or other airlines and the agreements it may make. The deal continues to provide language protecting jobs from contracting out.

Even WestJet management seems happy with the results of this latest agreement, and the process of negotiating it.

"We are pleased that we were able to achieve our first collective agreement with CUPE," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "The resulting agreement is a reflection of the interest-based bargaining required to achieve this positive outcome, and it is a strong example of how we can work together, respectfully with dedication and professionalism, to benefit our employees and our guests during these challenging times.

Please take action to protect your future; talk to your coworkers about signing a Unifor Membership card. It is time to take your seat at the table; they can do this at


Billy O'Neill, Unifor
[email protected] | 416-605-1443

Ada Zampini, Unifor
[email protected] | 514-701-6227

Bruce Fafard, Unifor
[email protected] | 587-341-0945

British Columbia
Simon Lau, Unifor
[email protected] | 778-928-9630

Patrick Murray, Unifor
[email protected] | 506-850-7996