WestJet flight attendants to be represented by CUPE - Macleans.ca

WestJet flight attendants to be represented by CUPE


A pilot taxis a Westjet Boeing 737-700 plane to a gate after arriving at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., on February 3, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

CALGARY — WestJet says the Canada Industrial Relations Board has issued an interim order to allow the Canadian Union of Public Employees to represent cabin crew members.

The union had filed an application with the CIRB on July 10th to represent the flight attendants after a majority signed cards stating they supported joining CUPE, including WestJet’s mainline carrier and low-cost carrier Swoop.

But WestJet said Tuesday night that the interim order does not include members of Encore or Swoop cabin crew.

The airline also said it has until Aug. 10 to make submissions on which positions to exclude from the bargaining unit.

The move by CUPE to sign up flight attendants follows the unionization of the airline’s pilots who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association.

“We are disappointed by this outcome but respect the rights of our employees to choose their representation,” said WestJet president and CEO Ed Sims in a statement.

“We now shift our focus to working effectively with CUPE in the interest of success for WestJet as a whole.”

News of the CIRB decision comes hours after the airline said it had posted its first quarterly loss in 13 years.

WestJet said it lost $20.8 million in the second quarter and warned that passengers should expect to see higher fares later this year to compensate for rising fuel costs that contributed to the loss.

“I think this is the way guests now need to think is that airfares will be rising just as they did back in 2010, 2011 when we had the last major fare spike,” Sims said in an interview.


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The Canadian Press

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