Union drives reignite at WestJet

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Union drives reignite at WestJet

#1 Post by 43S/172E » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:41 am

From the CBC

WestJet union drives are back on, but hitting roadblocks at Calgary airport
By Tracy Johnson, CBC News Posted: Oct 03, 2016 9:00 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 03, 2016 9:00 AM ET
After unsuccessful drives in 2015, pilots and flight attendants at WestJet are working again to form unions at the fast-growing airline. There's one key difference this time around, though.
Last year, they were racing against the calendar as labour laws changed in June 2015 to make certification more difficult. Now the opposite is true.
The Liberal government is getting close to repealing the law that changed the way unions are formed in federally regulated industries. Soon, it will most likely be easier to form a union in Canada.
Easier, but not exactly easy.
Calgary airport refuses to run ads for flight attendants
WestJet's flight attendants group has been working for three years to form a union at the airline. After a push in the summer of 2015, it relaunched its drive this past August and is hoping to have enough cards signed by Halloween to call a vote.
The Calgary Airport Authority has declined to run this ad by the WestJet Professional Flight Attendants Association. (WPFAA)
In that effort, the WestJet Professional Flight Attendants Association raised enough money to buy ads at Calgary International Airport. They were hoping to run them at the airport, but the airport authority declined the ads.
"No reason has been given to us, to our advertising agency, to our law firm, said Daniel Kufour, the interim treasurer for the flight attendants association. "The advertising is friendly, it is positive, it is to be paid for, just like any other client. To refuse our advertising is unfair."
In a statement to CBC News, the airport authority said it only accepts ads that showcase products and services and that advocacy ads are not permitted.
In the past, the Calgary airport has run banner ads for the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists, a Calgary-based group that regulates the practice of engineering and geoscience in Alberta.
Whether airports are able to deny ads in a public building is a legal question. Canada's airports are owned by the federal government and leased to non-profit airport authorities, which operate them.
A court ruling associated with protesters at the Calgary airport resulted in the judge ruling that airports are indeed government property and subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Whether that would also apply for issues related to the relationship between employees and an employer is unclear.
WestJet's pilots came within five per cent of forming a union in the summer of 2015. A secret ballot vote ended with 45 per cent of pilots voting in favour of certification and 55 per cent against. However, the union drive was divisive and expensive, with the pilot's group facing multiple legal challenges from WestJet.
A year ago, the pilots who were working for a union decided to throw their support behind the Air Line Pilots Association International, an international union that represents pilots at Jazz and Air Transat, as well as many other airlines in the U.S., like United and Delta.
The association has been holding information sessions at WestJet's base cities over the past several months. It did not respond to a request for an interview.
Labour laws could be changing again
The union drive in 2015 was a race against a deadline. On June 16, 2015, labour laws changed with the passing of Bill C-525, to require a secret vote to certify a federally regulated union. Previously, auto-certification was possible, once a union had collected 50 per cent plus one employee to sign a card.
The Liberal government is in the process of repealing that law and allowing the system to revert to previous rule, meaning no secret ballot for federal employees.
Minister ofEmployment, Workforce Development and Labour MaryAnn Mihychuk said that the Liberals campaigned on repealing Bill C-525. She introduced Bill C-4 to that effect, which is currently on its third reading. If passed, it will head to the Senate, where the Conservative majority has suggested that it will stop the bill.
In a statement to CBC News, Mihychuk said, "Bill C-4 is fundamentally about restoring fairness, balance and stability to Canada's federal labour relations system, a critical component of our plan to strengthen the middle class and help those working hard to join it."
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Re: Union drives reignite at WestJet

#2 Post by atphat » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:11 am

Westjet is a fast-growing airline?
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Re: Union drives reignite at WestJet

#3 Post by Rotten Apple #1 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:41 pm

43S/172E wrote:From the CBC

WestJet union drives are back on, but hitting roadblocks at Calgary airport

By Tracy Johnson, CBC News Posted: Oct 03, 2016 9:00 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 03, 2016 9:00 AM ET
After unsuccessful drives in 2015, pilots and flight attendants at WestJet are working again to form unions at the fast-growing airline. There's one key difference this time around, though.

Last year, they were racing against the calendar as labour laws changed in June 2015 to make certification more difficult. Now the opposite is true.

The Liberal government is getting close to repealing the law that changed the way unions are formed in federally regulated industries. Soon, it will most likely be easier to form a union in Canada.
Easier, but not exactly easy.

Calgary airport refuses to run ads for flight attendants

WestJet's flight attendants group has been working for three years to form a union at the airline. After a push in the summer of 2015, it relaunched its drive this past August and is hoping to have enough cards signed by Halloween to call a vote.
The Calgary Airport Authority has declined to run this ad by the WestJet Professional Flight Attendants Association. (WPFAA)
In that effort, the WestJet Professional Flight Attendants Association raised enough money to buy ads at Calgary International Airport. They were hoping to run them at the airport, but the airport authority declined the ads.

"No reason has been given to us, to our advertising agency, to our law firm, said Daniel Kufour, the interim treasurer for the flight attendants association. "The advertising is friendly, it is positive, it is to be paid for, just like any other client. To refuse our advertising is unfair."

In a statement to CBC News, the airport authority said it only accepts ads that showcase products and services and that advocacy ads are not permitted.

In the past, the Calgary airport has run banner ads for the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists, a Calgary-based group that regulates the practice of engineering and geoscience in Alberta.

Whether airports are able to deny ads in a public building is a legal question. Canada's airports are owned by the federal government and leased to non-profit airport authorities, which operate them.

A court ruling associated with protesters at the Calgary airport resulted in the judge ruling that airports are indeed government property and subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Whether that would also apply for issues related to the relationship between employees and an employer is unclear.

WestJet's pilots came within five per cent of forming a union in the summer of 2015. A secret ballot vote ended with 45 per cent of pilots voting in favour of certification and 55 per cent against. However, the union drive was divisive and expensive, with the pilot's group facing multiple legal challenges from WestJet.

A year ago, the pilots who were working for a union decided to throw their support behind the Air Line Pilots Association International, an international union that represents pilots at Jazz and Air Transat, as well as many other airlines in the U.S., like United and Delta.

The association has been holding information sessions at WestJet's base cities over the past several months. It did not respond to a request for an interview.

Labour laws could be changing again

The union drive in 2015 was a race against a deadline. On June 16, 2015, labour laws changed with the passing of Bill C-525, to require a secret vote to certify a federally regulated union. Previously, auto-certification was possible, once a union had collected 50 per cent plus one employee to sign a card.

The Liberal government is in the process of repealing that law and allowing the system to revert to previous rule, meaning no secret ballot for federal employees.

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour MaryAnn Mihychuk said that the Liberals campaigned on repealing Bill C-525. She introduced Bill C-4 to that effect, which is currently on its third reading. If passed, it will head to the Senate, where the Conservative majority has suggested that it will stop the bill.

In a statement to CBC News, Mihychuk said, "Bill C-4 is fundamentally about restoring fairness, balance and stability to Canada's federal labour relations system, a critical component of our plan to strengthen the middle class and help those working hard to join it."
I think this was a hastily written article, with the journalist, in at least one example, relying on her memory rather than factual evidence. To whit, when she writes: "However, the union drive was divisive and expensive, with the pilot's group facing multiple legal challenges from WestJet.", I call BS. Accordingly, a search of Canlii.org using the search terms "WestJet" and "WPPA" reveals that the pilot's association filed three legal actions against WestJet, while WestJet filed one against the pilot's group.

In the search results below, the party filing the claim against the other appears first. When WestJet files suit against a party, it appears as "WestJet v ..."

http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/#search/jId ... origJId=ca
1. WestJet, an Alberta Partnership v WestJet Professional Pilots Association, 2016 CIRB 806 (CanLII) — 2016-01-13
Canada Industrial Relations Board — Canada (Federal)


membership evidence — original panel — reconsideration — trade union — payment

[…] WestJet Professional Pilots Association (WPPA or the union) had the support of at least 40% of the employees in the bargaining unit, and ordered that a representation vote be taken. […] [7] WestJet argues that the Board, in WestJet 785, mischaracterized its argument regarding the verification of membership evidence filed by the WPPA. Specifically, the employer claims that the Board committed […] consideration" in finding that at least 40% of the bargaining unit employees wished to be represented by the WPPA. In fact, the original panel explicitly stated, in WestJet 785, that: […]

2. WestJet Professional Pilots Association v WestJet, an Alberta Partnership, 2015 CIRB 782 (CanLII) — 2015-07-24
Canada Industrial Relations Board — Canada (Federal)


pilots — representation vote — employer — email — union

[…] [1] On July 21, 2015, the WestJet Professional Pilots Association (WPPA or the union) filed an application with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (the Board), for an interim order pursuant […] In particular, the WPPA requests orders prohibiting WestJet from communicating with the pilots concerning the application for certification except as directed by the Board and prohibiting WestJet from providing support […] [4] In its application, the WPPA relies on an affidavit and information that were previously submitted in a complaint that was filed in February 2014 and that is currently being […]

3. WestJet Pilots Association v WestJet Airlines Ltd. and WestJet Pilots Association, 2014 CIRB 734 (CanLII) — 2014-07-21
Canada Industrial Relations Board — Canada (Federal)


dates — postponement — venue — labour — adjournment

[…] [1] On February 26, 2014, the Board received an unfair labour practice (ULP) complaint (Board File no. 30342-C) from the WestJet Professional Pilots Association (WPPA). […] The WPPA contested certain allegedly unlawful actions which occurred during its ongoing organizing campaign to represent pilots working at WestJet Airlines Ltd. (WestJet). […] The Board later granted intervenor status to the WestJet Proactive Communication Team (PACT), in part on the basis that some of the remedies the WPPA requested were directed at it. […]

4. WestJet Professional Pilots Association v WestJet, 2015 CIRB 785 (CanLII) — 2015-08-05
Canada Industrial Relations Board — Canada (Federal)


pilots — membership — bargaining — unit — union

[…] [1] On June 22, 2015, the WestJet Professional Pilots Association (WPPA or the union) filed an application for certification seeking to be certified as the bargaining agent for a unit […] Having reviewed the constituting documents, the Board is satisfied that they meet the essential elements required and that the WPPA is a trade union within the meaning of the Code. […] [31] The Board is cognizant of the fact that there currently exists a structure of employee representation within WestJet. In its LD 3453, the Board described it as a unique […]
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Re: Union drives reignite at WestJet

#4 Post by arctic_slim » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:14 am

atphat wrote:Westjet is a fast-growing airline?
is it not? or you just being sarcastic?
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Re: Union drives reignite at WestJet

#5 Post by PositiveRate27 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:06 am

arctic_slim wrote:
atphat wrote:Westjet is a fast-growing airline?
is it not? or you just being sarcastic?
Last I heard they were putting holds on aircraft orders.
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Re: Union drives reignite at WestJet

#6 Post by atphat » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:17 am

Narrow body expansion at WJ is next to impossible. Are they ordering a bunch of WB that no one knows about? I believe they will in time but not now.

We are talking about WJ. Not Encore.

Encore provides regional lift for WJ. They are not the same. But I'm assuming you know that.
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Re: Union drives reignite at WestJet

#7 Post by Maxpwr » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:24 am

digging through the financial report you'll find today's mainline fleet at 116 aircraft. Between new aircraft orders and potential lease returns the fleet by 2027 could be as high as 189 and as low as 145. Any new WB order would be in addition to that. Lots of potential narrow body growth don't kid yourself. Tons of destinations could be direct instead of via YYC.
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Re: Union drives reignite at WestJet

#8 Post by tailgunner » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:35 am

Ok, where are these new destinations? WJ has a pretty robust network already. I just don't see any 'have to' destinations that aren't already being served.
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Re: Union drives reignite at WestJet

#9 Post by Maxpwr » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:46 am

Could be new destinations, could be increased frequency on existing ones. Who knows. There's a lot of U.S. Destinations that are missing compared to Air Canada. Those are firm aircraft orders though and spaced out to 2027 so careful incremental growth seems reasonable.
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Re: Union drives reignite at WestJet

#10 Post by tailgunner » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:48 pm

Maxpwr,
I really appreciate your enthusiasm, however, the remaining 44 fins do not have a garaunteed future in the fleet. It is perfectly reasonable that the remaining 44 are simply sold off. The last 12 months have shown that the focus of growth at WJ is at the Encore level. Just look at the lost WJ flights that have been taken over by Encore. I will use YEG as a simple example. YEG -YQU,YEG -YYC, YEG-YMM, YEG-YXE, YEG-YQX, YEG-YLW...all q400.
Cheers.
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Re: Union drives reignite at WestJet

#11 Post by 180 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:45 pm

tailgunner wrote: Just look at the lost WJ flights that have been taken over by Encore. I will use YEG as a simple example. YEG -YQU,YEG -YYC, YEG-YMM, YEG-YXE, YEG-YQX, YEG-YLW...all q400.
Cheers.
I'm curious, we're all these routes half full 737's, and putting the Q on them made better business sense for WJ? Or are the Q's doing twice as many trips to make up for their smaller capacity?
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Re: Union drives reignite at WestJet

#12 Post by North Shore » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:01 pm

I'd be willing to bet that most of those routes were oil patch dependent, and once the price starts going up a little, then the 37s will be back on them..
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Re: Union drives reignite at WestJet

#13 Post by Dixon_rd » Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:15 am

180 wrote:
tailgunner wrote: Just look at the lost WJ flights that have been taken over by Encore. I will use YEG as a simple example. YEG -YQU,YEG -YYC, YEG-YMM, YEG-YXE, YEG-YQX, YEG-YLW...all q400.
Cheers.
I'm curious, we're all these routes half full 737's, and putting the Q on them made better business sense for WJ? Or are the Q's doing twice as many trips to make up for their smaller capacity?

YEG-YQX!?
Thats some kinda tailwind!
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