UPDATE: WestJet’s Unifor Members Ratify Deal; Giving Travellers “Confidence”

WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech (middle, left) shaking hands with Scott Doherty, lead negotiator and Assistant to the National President (middle, right).
WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech (middle, left) shaking hands with Scott Doherty, lead negotiator and Assistant to the National President (middle, right), earlier in the process, after a tentative agreement was reached.

A tentative agreement reached days ago between newly-unionized Unifor members at YYC and YVR and WestJet has been ratified, the airline and union announced in separate statements 29JUL.

Unifor Local 531 represents nearly 800 baggage service agents, (BSA’s) customer service agents (CSA’s) and priority service agents (PSA’s) in Calgary and Vancouver airports after being certified in MAY of 2021.  It’s the first contract secured by the newly-unionized bargaining group.  According to the union, the new, 5-year agreement gives members at least a 13 per cent wage increase, their first increase in five years.

“WestJet is pleased to share that the agreement negotiated with Unifor has been ratified by its membership,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President and Chief People, Corporate and Sustainability Officer. “This settlement demonstrates WestJet’s commitment to its employees, the long-term success of the airline and the communities we serve.”

Read more...

The agreement will come into 01SEP, 2022 and will be in place until 31DEC, 2026.

“This agreement will provide our guests, who rely on our critical investments for their air travel needs, with well-deserved confidence in their long-awaited travel plans,” she added.

Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the National President and lead on the airline sector, provided more details about the agreement in the union’s release.

“Members starting out in the wage grid will see their wages rise as much as 40% and members at the top of the scale will see increases between 13% and 17% over the life of the agreement,” he revealed. The agreement also provides for faster wage increases with time of service and an additional increase after 8 years of service, in addition to paid breaks, stat holiday credits, sick leave, continuation of the WestJet Savings Plan, and more benefits.

WestJet has also agreed that casual employees will not exceed 10 per cent of the airline’s workforce.

Lynn Elmhirst

With a background in broadcast news and travel lifestyles TV production, Lynn is just as comfortable behind or in front of the camera as she is slinging words into compelling stories at her laptop. Having been called a multi-media ‘content charmer’, Lynn’s other claim to fame is the ability to work 24/7, forgoing sleep until the job is done. Documented proof exists in a picture of Lynn at the closing celebrations of an intense week, standing, champagne in hand - sound asleep. That’s our kind of gal.

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