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CALGARY — Both WestJet and Swoop have weighed in on the potential unionization of their flight attendants, with WestJet CEO Ed Sims saying that the airline “respects the rights of our employees to choose their representation.”
After news broke that the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) filed an application for certification of its cabin crew members at the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB), both Sims and Steven Greenway, President of Swoop, issued similar statements to the press.
“Although we prefer to work directly with our employee groups as we have since 1996, we are dedicated to moving forward and will concentrate on the continued success of the organization for guests, employees and shareholders,” said Sims.
WestJet and low-cost carrier Swoop received formal notice from CIRB on July 10 at 11:49 a.m. ET.
“We’re hopeful that this is just the first of many victories ahead for WestJet Cabin Crew as we work together to improve working conditions for inflight staff,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock. “A strong union for WestJetters is set for takeoff!”
Hugh Pouilot, senior communications officer at CUPE, told Global News that the main issues flight attendants have are compensation, scheduling and seniority. And although these cannot be guaranteed, CUPE has negotiated for other flight attendant agreements at Air Canada and Air Transat.