TORONTO, Aug. 3, 2022 /CNW/ – WestJet workers at Pearson International Airport have won a major victory in their right to representation as the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) certifies Unifor as their sole bargaining agent.
“WestJet workers in Toronto have gained a voice in their workplace, joining with workers in Vancouver and Calgary as members of Unifor. These employees have tremendous experience to offer their employer as airlines face an increase in travel demand from pre-pandemic travel demand,” said Unifor Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne.
“It is imperative that workers have a strong voice in future decisions at WestJet to ensure fairness and job protection with the airline.”
Unifor applied with the Canada Industrial Relations Board on July 11, 2022, to certify Unifor as the union for 374 WestJet workers at Toronto Pearson International Airport. On July 29, 2022, the CIRB certified Unifor as the sole bargaining agent after declaring that a majority of the workers signed membership cards.
“This is an important step in creating more stability, predictability and protection. I’m happy that collectively we have found our voice as we move toward fairness with fair treatment for ourselves, our co-workers and our families,” said Michelle Lindo-Collins, WestJet Customer Service Agent.
As airline travel rebounded post-pandemic, workers in Toronto have often faced increased pressures as frontline representatives with the public when plans did not go as expected due to flight delays, cancellations and long wait times at the airport.
“Our collective efforts to sustain the day-to-day operation and hold onto what WestJet represents have weighed on us all through these difficult times. Along with Unifor, we hope to build on the momentum to see change here in Toronto. We look forward to growing WestJet and positively impacting our guests throughout their travel plans,” said Keaton Cole, WestJet Customer Service Agent.
“I’m happy to join my co-workers in Calgary and Vancouver as members of Unifor. United together, we look forward to growing WestJet while providing good jobs and benefits to employees who provide exceptional daily service,” shared Wesley Watson a Customer Service Agent in the baggage department.
Unifor represents 7,500 airport agents at other airlines, including Air Canada, Jazz, Porter, First Air, Calm Air and more. In all, Unifor represents more than 16,000 workers across the airline industry.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.