WestJet flight attendants voted against an agreement that would put an end to the current unionization efforts at the airline.
The turnout was strong, with 90 percent of flight attendants voting. However, 57 percent of voters were against the agreement. The tentative agreement was created after months of negotiation between management and WestJet’s non-unionized flight attendant association.
Tyson Matheson, WestJet Vice-President, Inflight, said:
“We are obviously disappointed with the results of the vote,”
“We believe we brought forward an agreement that balanced the needs of our flights attendants with those of the business. I have no doubt that we will come together to resolve the issues that led to these results. I thank our flight attendants for their voice in this process and for the work they do every day, providing our guests with a great experience.”
In the coming weeks the WestJet’s leadership team and the Flight Attendant Association Board will meet and talk about the specific concerns that employees have.
The Calgary based airline has expanded rapidly over the last two years, experiencing rapid growth. The expansion has led to some employees feeling unsatisfied with the changes that have been made as a result.
One big change that WestJet has recently made was the creation of new crew bases in Vancouver and Toronto. This is a shift from the airlines previous model, in which all pilots and flight attendants started their shifts in Calgary.
In addition, the ratio of flight attendants to passengers has increased, from one flight attendant for every 40 passengers up to one for every 50 passengers.
The tentative agreement that was pitched covered compensation schemes, work rules, and an enforceable dispute resolution process. The airline’s next move will be to work on a new agreement – one that will hopefully be ratified.