WestJet Pilots Vote Against Unionization Under New Canada Labour Code Provisions

WestJet’s pilots have voted against unionization following a narrow result released by the WestJet Professional Pilots Association (the “Association”) last week. Out of the nearly 1,300 pilots, 55% percent of those who voted were not in favour of forming a union. These results come following an extensive campaign by the Association, who vocalized their disappointment with the result through the release on their Facebook page.
The Association in the release stated that “[w]e hope that the open discussions that have taken place as part of this process will set the stage for constructive dialogue between our pilots and the WestJet leadership going forward”.

WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky has expressed his pleasure with the pilots’ decision not to unionize, stating that “[o]ur model of cooperation and employee representation through the WestJets’ Pilots Association has allowed for the continued successful of our pilots and our airline.” Mr. Saretsky went on to emphasize that although that he hoped that the airline can still move forward with the pilots to understand the issues raised during the campaign and work to resolve them.

Prior to June 16, 2015, votes were generally not required in federally regulated union drives. This one of the first major votes under the amended Canada Labour Code.

Voting to unionize? Good or bad?

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