Over the past few weeks, the union advantage has begun to be felt at WestJet.

Pilots have officially joined the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the largest pilot union in the world representing more than 60,000 pilots across Canada and the United States, and are negotiating a fair first contract and gaining a voice at the workplace. When WestJet tried to bypass ALPA in its hiring for Swoop, the Canada Industrial Relations Board sided with the union and ordered the hiring plan stopped because it threatened the voice of workers in the workplace. It was the first time a labour body had ruled in favour of staff at WestJet.

In-air service workers at WestJet could also soon be enjoying the union advantage, with more and more signing unionization cards. Like the pilots, the flight attendants recognize the importance of having a voice in the workplace, especially as the company expands and takes on new business models such as Encore and Swoop. Just this week, WestJet was forced to apologize and end a program of asking passengers to monitor flight attendants after workers complained about the privacy violation.

The union advantage was also felt across the industry just over a week ago when news came out that the federal government is dropping plans to privatize airports. Unions representing airline and airport workers, including Unifor, were vocal about the threat privatization posed to job security and working conditions across Canada – and the government listened. “Privatization is a scam that threatens the security and service at Canadian airports,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said. “Airports are too important to be left to privatization experiments with the private sector.”

As a Unifor member, you will have the union advantage, as well. You will gain a voice in the workplace, just as your co-workers are now gaining, and will have a chance to negotiate a fair contract that ensures good working conditions during a time of change for WestJet. All this month, Unifor is in multiple airports across Canada talking to customer service agents, guest service ambassadors and baggage handlers about how Unifor can help ensure a more secure future with WestJet.

Don’t stay silent as others gain their voice. Stay informed, and let your friends know they can sign up for regular updates, too, by contacting me at [email protected] or (cell) 416-605-1443.

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



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