On July 9, CUPE filed an application to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to represent flight attendants at WestJet’s Mainline and Swoop carriers. The CIRB is now reviewing CUPE’s application until July 26, but the decision could take some time after that. We will keep you up to date as things progress. Here’s what happens next while we wait for the CIRB’s ruling on certifying CUPE to represent WestJetters.
As a normal part of this process, the CIRB will check in with a selection of card-signers to authenticate their cards. Don’t be alarmed if you hear from CIRB staff over the next few weeks.
Now that CUPE’s application is in, a “statutory freeze” has kicked in. This means all your working conditions, wages, benefits, as well as the company’s policies and practices, are locked in until your sign your first collective agreement. WestJet cannot take any of these things away.
In other words, it’s business as usual, and things that were in progress will continue. For example, we expect to hear news about the WestJet-WCCA MOA. The statutory freeze does not prevent improvements that both the employer and the union agree to.
You’ll note that CUPE’s application included both Mainline WestJet and Swoop flight attendants. This is in line with the agreement already struck between WestJet and the pilots union, ALPA. We hope to bring WestJet Encore flight attendants into our union soon too. We know that we’re stronger together.
What do we do now?
- Keep signing cards. Now that the application is filed with the CIRB, the $5 application fee is no longer necessary for Mainline or Swoop CCMs who sign cards – but it is necessary for Encore. Signing a card helps your union grow in strength as our membership increases and gathers contact info to grow our activist network and send important updates to WestJetters. It’s an absolutely critical part of building momentum towards your very first collective agreement.
- Support Encore Cabin Crew. The campaign to collect CUPE cards for WestJet Encore is ongoing and the momentum has never been stronger. With your help, we can make a fair contract and strong representation for Encore flight attendants a reality, and strengthen representation for flight attendants at Mainline and Swoop. Encourage your Encore colleagues to sign a CUPE card and pay the $5 fee and help get those cards in as soon as possible!
- Pass mainline and Encore cards to activists. You can contact activists on this list to get your cards in. And finally, our activists are continuing their outstanding work moving this drive forward. We can’t thank them enough for their phenomenal dedication to uniting WestJet Cabin Crew across the board with a strong union that’s dedicated to them.
We will keep you informed as things progress. If you know other WestJetters who want updates, tell them to sign up at westjet.cupe.ca. It’s the best way to cut down on rumours, get information directly from us.
In the near future we will be moving forward with addressing issues like how your local will be structured (ex: what your by-laws will say about how your executive and other committees will be structured). These are all decisions that WestJetters will make together.