Employers can be predictable when their workers begin signing union cards, using the same old tricks to try fooling workers about the union.
In fact, some of these tricks are already being used at WestJet – by managers, supervisors and even the Airline Employees Association (AEA).

Don’t be fooled. You have the right to form a union, and the company knows better than to try tricking you out of exercising this right.
Some of the favourite company tricks, drawn from past organizing drives, are listed below. Keep score of how many WestJet uses: 

  • TRICK 1, a second chance A supervisor or manager asks for another chance to fix problems on the job, claiming they didn’t know and so begins treating you better – even hinting at special treatment if you turn against the union.
    TRUTH: Giving the employer a second chance usually leads to bitter disappointment.  Nothing really changes and the promises end after the organizing drive is finished.  
  • TRICK 2, bargaining from scratch The company says that when you negotiate a contract, you lose the wages and benefits you already have and you’ll be bargaining from scratch. 
    TRUTH: It is illegal for the company to say this. When you negotiate a first contract, you start with the pay and benefits you currently have and build from there.  
  • TRICK 3, no contract The company says it will never sign a contract with Unifor. This is illegal, so they may say something like, “Remember, we don’t have to agree to what you want in the contract.”
    TRUTH: WestJet is legally required to negotiate with the union you choose. It is in WestJet’s interest to reach a deal and keep the work flowing.  
  • TRICK 4, union bosses The company will tell you that the union will take your dues to pay the high salaries of union bosses.
    TRUTH: Unifor members decide how dues are spent to make your local union strong and to pay for a range of professional services that work for you.
  • TRICK 5, anti-union committee A so-called “vote no committee” mysteriously appears, doing the company’s dirty work. They may pass out literature filled with company lies about the union and may spread rumours and insult pro-union co-workers.
    TRUTH: The company knows that if you and your co-workers are united, you can stand up and win your rights. Anti-union committees are meant to divide us. The union brings us together. 
  • TRICK 6, union dues The company will tell you that the union just wants your money. They may lie about the amount of dues you will pay.
    TRUTH: Improvements in pay, benefits, and fair treatment with a union are greater than the cost of dues. You don’t pay dues until you ratify a contract. Dues are tax deductible.
  • TRICK 7, strike talk WestJet officials may tell you that the union will force you out on strike - whether you want to or not - and that you could lose your job during a strike.
    TRUTH: A decision to strike can only be made by you and your co-workers in a secret vote. Fully 98 per cent of all Unifor contracts are settled without a strike.
  • TRICK 8, workplace closure Supervisors will tell you that a union is bad for business, so the company might just close .
    TRUTH: It is illegal for the company to close, or even threaten to close, because the union is voted in. Workplaces close for economic reasons - and most are non-union.

The company has the right to make its case for staying non-union, but it does not have the right to lie or try to trick you.

With so many WestJet workers already unionized, the company knows better than to play these tricks. That doesn’t mean it won’t try, however. If you see the company trying any of these tricks, please let one of us know.

Billy O'Neill, Unifor
[email protected] | 416-605-1443
Bruce Fafard, Unifor
[email protected] | 780-930-3086
British Columbia
Murray Gore, Unifor
[email protected] | 604-671-9141 
Patrick Murray, Unifor
[email protected] | 506-850-7996



Unifor is a Canadian union with a modern, inclusive approach to serving members and improving our workplaces and communities. // Unifor est un syndicat canadien qui a une approche moderne et inclusive pour servir ses membres et améliorer nos lieux de trav