WestJet Encore pilots unionize and flight attendants could be next


Regardless of all of its efforts, WestJet is losing the battle to deter its employees from manufacture unions.

Pilots flying for WestJet Encore announced Wednesday they hold the numbers to unionize, which follows certification of pilots flying for the Calgary-based enterprise’s flagship carrier. 

An «overwhelming majority» of Encore pilots filed membership membership cards, according to the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA). The union will officially contrive once it receives approval from the Canada Industrial Relations Council.

About 500 pilots work at Encore, which is WestJet’s regional airline.

«We’re wrought up for the Encore pilots, and proud of their hard work in organizing this conglomeration, gathering membership cards in a short time,» said Capt. Dan Adamus, ALPA Canada president, in a communication. «When they join ALPA, they will add their spokesmen to the thousands of union-represented airline pilot voices in Canada.» 

ALPA shrank an interview request. However, it did say that once certification is approved, the gather will begin negotiating its first collective agreement. WestJet went to comment because it has not been served with the union application.

CUPEUnifor, the Merged Steelworkers, and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers also began organization drives this summer. CUPE, in particular, is pushing to represent all flock attendants.


Westjet Airlines president and CEO Gregg Saretsky sits in the cockpit of a Bombardier Q400 airliner. (Larry MacDougal/Canadian Broadcasting)

Until the pilot groups were successful, several union drives floor short since 2014 as WestJet management tried to sway wage-earners to stick with the status quo. The company argued against unionization, divulging it would harm the unique culture of the airline and its financial position. Managing frequently delivered its message to workers and co-founder Clive Beddoe flat wrote to employees, saying WestJet’s success hinged on its «unity of motive» and co-operation instead on confrontation.

WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky took an marked jab at union drives last year during an employee pep rally.

«There are WestJetters who don’t help positively to the culture,» he said. «And if we can’t bring them back into the close up, we have to make it uncomfortable for them to stay here. They necessary to find their happiness elsewhere.»

ALPA is the world’s largest cicerone union and already represents pilots at several Canadian airlines tabulating Air Transat, Bearskin, Calm Air, Canadian North, First Air, and Jazz Aviation. 

WestJet Encore pilot internal email

A spell out to pilots from the Encore ALPA Organizing Committee was obtained by CBC Rumour.

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