Pilots vote 62 per cent in favour of forming first union at WestJet
CALGARY — The Air Line Pilots Association, International says more than 1,400 WestJet pilots have voted 62 per cent in favour of forming the first union at Canada’s second-largest airline.
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) says that once the results are certified by the Canada Industrial Relations Board, it will be the exclusive bargaining agent for WestJet pilots.
WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky said that the airline is disappointed with the outcome of the vote, but will now focus on engaging in constructive dialogue with the ALPA.
The airline has long opposed unionization and has seen several union votes fail over the years, including a pilot vote in 2015. The pilots union started another organizing drive last December and submitted union membership cards to the Canada Industrial Relations Board in April.
Rob McFadyen, a member of the WestJet ALPA Organizing Committee, stated that the vote was about ensuring support in issues such as health, retirement, fatigue, safety, family support and legal protection.
Pilots at WestJet have so far been represented by the internal company WestJet Pilots’ Association.
WestJet offers scheduled service to more than 100 destinations.