After leaving its frontline airport workers without a raise for years, Onex WestJet has announced that they will provide a 2.5% wage increase (0.59 cents in total for top-rate employees). With the support of their employee association, WestJet will continue to pay their newly hired workers poverty wages, advising them there would be no percentage increase due to a recent rise in the Federal Minimum wage on April 1, 2022, that moved them to $15.55 per hour.

The AEA claims its values are to "See Our People, Hear our People and Celebrate Our People". WestJetters would be better served if they added another section to their feel-good company slogan, Pay Our People!

WestJet has failed to recognize your contributions while you face increased pressures in your daily jobs, with workers skipping their breaks or cutting them short to ensure passenger traffic keeps moving.

When was the last time you had a decent wage increase? Long-term employees know that it has been many years.

This wage increase is too little, too late. Your Company can do much better than this, and they know it. Decent, regular wage increases should not be left to management's discretion, timing, and favouritism. 

Unifor Organizing

It is no coincidence that the Company rolled out a slight increase; they are worried that Toronto and Edmonton workers are signing their Unifor membership cards to gain a real voice. They do not want you to join with Calgary and Vancouver, who are pushing for lasting benefits of collective bargaining...not a one-time wage increase with the promise that there may be more where that came from some time down the road. 

We think you can do much better by attaining a legally binding collective agreement with your continued solidarity and determination.  

Without a collective agreement, it is impossible to know what your wages might be a year from now. With a union, your annual wage increases are negotiated years in advance, giving you the flexibility you need to plan for the future and build a life for yourself and your family.

Wage Comparable for WestJet employees versus Air Canada Employees (2021-1 year ago)

Inflation and your wages

Statistics Canada reported that in December 2021, the annual pace of inflation climbed to 4.8 percent, a pace that hasn’t been seen in the thirty years since September 1991. Gasoline prices alone were up over 33 percent last year.

In Canada, many workers and their families are experiencing the adverse effects of inflation just like you. Wages are simply not keeping up with the increasing cost of everything you buy. Everything is going up from groceries to gas, rent, and consumer goods.

Q: How does inflation negatively affect you and your family?

A: Inflation erodes money's purchasing power. The impact that inflation has on households is that it decreases the value of a dollar over time. Inflation increases the price of goods and services, effectively reducing the number of goods and services you can buy with a dollar in the future instead of a dollar today. According to Statistics Canada, over the 10 years from 2012 to 2021, inflation eroded purchasing power by an average of over 1.6 percent each and every year for a cumulative total of 16.4 percent.  So, for example, if a WestJet employee was earning  $23.67 per hour in 2012 and wages had been increased with inflation since that time, the wage in 2021 would have been $27.55 per hour.

With Unifor, you will have the voice and power to negotiate wage increases and enjoy the predictability of depending on them. You deserve better. You deserve to be heard. You deserve that your hard work is recognized.


Billy O'Neill, Unifor
[email protected] | 416.605.1443

Lucy Alessio, Unifor
[email protected] | 416.998.3189