WestJet has received formal notice from Canada's Industrial Relations Board that a majority of its flight attendants at both the mainline carrier and low-cost offshoot Swoop have signed cards supporting unionization with the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
"We respect the rights of our employees to choose their representation,” said WestJet CEO Ed Sims in a statement.
“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."
"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," CUPE national president Mark Hancock said in a statement.
CUPE said it represents 12,000 flight attendants at 10 different airlines including Air Canada, Air Transat and Sunwing.
The move by CUPE to unionize the flight attendants follows the unionization of the airline's pilots who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.