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Sep 19, 2017

Unions turn their sights on WestJet Encore

Teal Linde discusses WestJet Airlines

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   CALGARY — WestJet is facing more pressure from organized labour as two unions have turned their sights to the airline's regional Encore operation.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees said Tuesday that it and the Air Line Pilots Association, International have simultaneously launched their drives to unionize Encore cabin crew and pilots.

The efforts at Encore come after WestJet's 1,400 pilots voted by 62 per cent to have ALPA represent them in a union in May.

The successful unionization of pilots led CUPE, Unifor, the United Steelworkers, and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to also start union drives at the main WestJet operation this summer.

The grassroots WestJet Professional Flight Attendants Association, which has for years been campaigning to unionize flight attendants, said in early September that it was ending its efforts with the increasing pressure from CUPE's drive.

WestJet spokeswoman Lauren Stewart said the airline is working to inform employees of the facts around unions, and continues to believe employees and leadership work best together using the company's existing model.