Pilots vote 62 per cent in favour of form­ing first union at WestJet

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS -

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.

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