WestJet pilots reject effort to form airline company’s first union

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The Canadian Press

CALGARY: A group leading a push among pilots to form WestJet’s first union says the effort has been rejected.

The WestJet Professional Pilots Association says on its Facebook page that 684 of 1,247 pilots _ about 55 per cent of those who cast ballots over a two-week period _ voted against unionization.

The association says it is disappointed with the result and hopes the process will lead to constructive dialogue between pilots and WestJet going forward.

The group had said it was time the company’s pilots are represented through a certified union as WestJet grows.

WestJet had said it believes the fact that it has a non-union workforce gives it a competitive advantage, adding that collective bargaining would have led to service disruptions and increased labour costs.

The airline is expected to make a statement on the vote later today.

The Canadian Industrial Relations Board has been running the vote but says it will not be able to release official results until its board approves them. There is no indication when that could be.

To trigger the vote, the WestJet Professional Pilots Association had to show more than 40 per cent of pilots supported the association through membership cards.

The WestJet Professional Flight Attendants Association is working to reach the 40 per cent membership threshold to launch a vote on whether flight attendants can unionize.

 

© 2015 The Canadian Press