WestJet pilots push for unionization

The aviators have renewed efforts to form a union following an unsuccessful attempt in 2015.

WestJet pilots push for unionization
WestJet pilots have renewed their efforts to form a union this week – just two years after an unsuccessful attempt took place.

Pilots filed membership cards with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) on Thursday to hold an election for representation by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA).

"WestJet pilots told us they are ready for a certified union," said Capt. Tim Canoll, president of ALPA. “Now is the time for them to take the next step and vote for ALPA in order to obtain the resources available to secure their goals.”

In the next few weeks, the CIRB will verify the membership cards and schedule an ALPA representation vote. ALPA expects that the secret-ballot election will be conducted in May.

“WestJet pilots have demonstrated the pilot unity needed to certify a union on the property, and we believe WestJet pilots will be successful in their election for ALPA representation," Canoll said.

"The WestJet pilots work for a profitable and productive company, and with the vast resources available through ALPA representation, they will begin the process to legally negotiate the terms of their employment and establish a collective bargaining agreement under the Canada Labour Code that other union-represented aviation groups in Canada enjoy today."

The Air Line Pilots Association represents 55,000 pilots at 32 airlines in Canada and the U.S., including Air Transat, Air Georgian, Bearskin, Calm Air and Jazz Aviation.

WestJet didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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