(October 4, 2016) WestJet pilots are taking another shot at unionizing. This time with the help of the Airline Pilots Association. And without a law passed during the dying days of the Harper governmnent.
Last year pilot organizers tried to form an independent union. They got more than half of the 1,300 WestJet pilots to sign membership cards.
For many years signing up 50% + 1 meant automatic union certification. But last year the pilots were stymied by the Harper government’s addition of a new final step – a secret ballot majority vote of approval. The process opened the door for an intense barrage of anti-union pressure from the top guns at WestJet. On August 15, 2015 the CBC reported 561 pilots voted Yes, while 684 voted No.
The Trudeau government has a Bill in the House of Commons to go back to the way it was.
In a statement to CBC News, Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk said, “Bill C-4 is fundamentally about restoring fairness, balance and stability to Canada’s federal labour relations system, a critical component of our plan to strengthen the middle class and help those working hard to join it,” the national public broadcaster reported on October 3, 2016.
The WestJet Professional Flight Attendants Association is also organizing. It wants to form an independent union like the Jazz flight attendants’ union (CFAU).
The WPFAA ran a strong campaign last year. They now have top union executives on staff and the backing of the prestigious labour law firm CaleyWray. But reports suggest the Canadian Union of Public Employees continues to have strong ties with WestJet flight attendants.
October 4, 2016