Majority of WestJet Encore pilots sign union membership cards, association says
November 01, 2017 - 2:09 PM
OTTAWA - An "overwhelming" majority of pilots with WestJet's Encore regional service have signed union membership cards, the Air Line Pilots Association said Wednesday.
The Canada Industrial Relations Board will conduct an investigation over the coming weeks to determine the authenticity of the unionization application filed by the association, said ALPA.
Approval will mark the first steps in negotiating a legally binding collective agreement for the nearly 500 Encore pilots.
ALPA Canada president Capt. Can Adamus said the Encore pilots will add their voices to the thousands of union-represented airline pilots in Canada.
The association is the world's largest pilot union, representing more than 58,000 pilots at 33 airlines in Canada and the United States, including Air Transat, Bearskin, Canadian North, Jazz Aviation and WestJet.
In May, WestJet's (TSX:WJA) 1,400 pilots voted by 62 per cent to have ALPA represent them in a union.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees is working to unionize cabin crews at Encore and WestJet.
Unifor, the United Steelworkers and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers have launched union drives for other WestJet employees.
The grassroots WestJet Professional Flight Attendants Association, which has been campaigning to unionize flight attendants for years, said in early September that it was ending its efforts with the increasing pressure from CUPE's drive.
WestJet spokeswoman Lauren Stewart said the airline has not been served with the formal application. She had previously said the Calgary-based carrier was working to inform employees of the facts around unions, and continues to believe employees and leadership work best together using the company's existing model.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2017