Chat with CUPE member-organizer at YUL!

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CUPE member-organizer Nathalie Garceau will be at YUL to answer your questions, sign cards, and talk with you about the difference has made in the lives of flight attendants across Canada.

You can contact Nathalie at or find her inside the doors near the employee shuttle stop on:

  • December 10: 17h00-midnight
  • December 16: 17h00-midnight


In-flight health and safety – how CUPE can make a difference for you

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While we continue our organizing drive, we are hearing increased concerns about WestJet’s adoption of a new, wider, heavier service cart that doesn’t fit well in the aisles, has created ergonomic challenges, and which has increased the risk for flight attendant and passenger injuries.

Under the Part II of the Canada Labour Code, workers can file complaints to their employer under section 127. If the employer doesn’t resolve the complaint, it can be referred to the workplace health and safety committee.  CUPE has a number of training courses for health and safety, including a 2.5 day airline-specific training that focuses on helping our members navigate the often-complex airline regulations system to make their workplaces safer.

CUPE has worked with a number of our members’ airlines on solutions to ergonomics problems, including projects that have seen union ergonomics specialists travel on two airlines flights to observe, measure and make recommendations for improvements to the galleys and work processes.

In our last round of bargaining, we also achieved language to ensure that changes to service delivery don’t create increases to the flight attendant’s workload. We have regular meetings and cordial relationships with both regulators in charge of ensuring health and safety where major systematic concerns (such as fume events and fatigue) can be addressed at a regulatory level.

Representing members at ten different airlines across Canada, CUPE has the expertise and professionalism to work cooperatively with our members’ airlines to improve safety without compromising profitability. It’s a win-win for flight attendants, and something we look forward to bringing to serve WestJetters!

Take action today by signing a union card to join CUPE and bring yourself one step closer to a fair contract and fair representation at work.

CUPE welcomes Flair Airlines flight attendants

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CUPE is excited to welcome the flight attendants of Flair Airlines to its growing ranks of airline employees. “On behalf of all of us at CUPE, I’d like to extend our warmest congratulations to all 101 flight attendants at Flair who will now enjoy the strong representation and broad range of resources offered by Canada’s largest trade union,” said CUPENational President Mark Hancock.

With Flair flight attendants coming on-board, CUPEsolidifies its stance as Canada’s flight attendant union, representing nearly 12,000 flight attendants across ten different airlines from coast to coast to coast.

Over the coming weeks and months, CUPE will work together side by side with Flair flight attendants to begin discussions about local bylaws and determining priorities for their first ever collective agreement.

Air Georgian flight attendants joined CUPE in January 2017, and with the addition of Flair, it’s clear that CUPE is the best choice to give flight attendants in Canada the industry expertise and strong legal representation they need and deserve.

CUPE’s historic win for onboard air quality

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CUPE has a long and proud history of fighting and getting results for our airline industry workers. In the early 1980s, CUPE flight attendants began campaigning against tobacco smoke on planes. For them, tobacco smoke was a toxic substance that they shouldn’t have to be exposed to on the job.

Led by our flight attendant members, CUPE lobbied the federal government, built a coalition of allies, and engaged in a nationwide letter-writing campaign. In 1987, Canadian Airlines International was the first airline carrier to ban smoking on all North American flights. Air Canada followed suit in 1988.

In 1988, in response to mounting public pressure, NDP MP Lynn McDonald introduced the “Non-Smokers Health Act.” Under the NSHA, smoking in federal work spaces is prohibited, except in designated rooms and areas. The NSHA was enforced on December 30, 1989 and effectively banned smoking on all Canadian domestic flights and international flights operated by a Canadian airline.

Because of the work of CUPE flight attendant activists, Canada became a leader in taking action against the occupational health and safety hazards caused by environmental tobacco smoke. Canadian delegates to the 1992 Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization put forward a resolution urging all countries to “take necessary measures as soon as possible to restrict smoking progressively on all international passenger flights with the objective of implementing complete smoking bans.”

Today, CUPE continues our work on improving air quality on airlines by advocating for Transport Canada to require all aircraft be fitted with filtration systems that eliminate any potential air contamination.

Join us in taking action by signing CUPE’s Safer Skies petition.

New to WestJet? Here’s why you should sign a union card

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Even if you’re new to WestJet, here’s why you should sign a card to unionize:

  • Concerns have been growing for a while about changes to our scheduling, seniority, and compensation, and the company’s plans for an ultra low-cost carrier
  • WestJet recently increased probation for new employees from six months to twelve months
  • WestJet recently took away weekend per diems for Cabin Crew Members based in YYZ or YVR who are in YYC for four-week initial training
  • WestJet also restructured our benefits so that many employees who used to qualify are now being denied
  • Signing a card is completely confidential – at no time will WestJet know whether you’ve signed a union card
  • Flight attendants at almost every other airline in Canada are unionized – but at WestJet, we’re still missing out on the benefits and protections of a union

As WestJet Cabin Crew Members, we take pride in our work and in our company’s unique culture. That’s why we’ve been organizing and steadily building support for unionization.

The momentum is on our side.

Joining a union will have immediate and important benefits, including better pay, better benefits, and better working conditions. Once we’re unionized, we’ll get the good contract and protections we deserve, and we’ll keep working to make WestJet employment conditions the best in the industry.

With CUPE, we’re ready to remedy these issues at the bargaining table. Sign a union card today!

Good value for your dues dollar

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As a CUPE member, you have a vote in deciding how much you’ll pay in dues and how your local spends its funds. So you can be sure you get good value for your money.

Each CUPE local sets its own dues, depending on needs and priorities. For most new locals, members pay between one and two cents for each dollar they earn in regular wages.

If dues are two cents on the dollar, more than one half remains with the local. These funds cover the cost of daily operations of your local, such as office spaces, a local newsletter, or committee expenses. They can also pay for members to take union education and training or attend conventions, and cover the cost of joining the district council, provincial division, and labour federation.

Less than one cent on the dollar is sent to CUPE National. These funds are used mainly to hire staff who work with you to bargain strong contracts to improve your working conditions, including specialists like lawyers and researchers. Another portion funds courses and materials that help you tackle problems in the workplace. And a portion goes directly into special funds to ensure CUPE members have the resources to defend their jobs and improve their wages.

With CUPE you get your money’s worth.

Download the PDF.

National expenses

  • 11% Administration
  • 6% Materials
  • 3% Union affiliations
  • 10% Defence funds
  • 70% Staff

Local expenses

Union dues are tax deductible with CUPE and members may choose whether to pay dues before a collective agreement is ratified.

#CUPE2017 – What happened at CUPE’s national convention in Toronto?

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CUPE’s 2017 National Convention took place in Toronto from October 2-6, 2017. National Convention is the highest decision-making body of CUPE and it meets every two years to elect national officers, debate issues, and democratically decide the direction of the union.

Airline Transportation Meeting

This year, delegates at the Airline Transportation meeting, representing 11,500 members across Canada, celebrated CUPE Local 4059, the groups’s newest local representing flight attendants at Air Georgian. They also adopted resolutions and promoted its campaigns on numerous issues important to Flight Attendants. These included the ongoing campaign to restore the safer 1-to-40 ratio and dealing with issues of fatigue, toxic fumes affecting onboard air quality, and how Bill C-27, if adopted, will erode the defined benefit pension plans. The Division also discussed amendments to its own structure to free-up resources to support new airline locals and organizing in the sector. Read more about it here!

National Convention

This year, CUPE’s convention included over 2,000 local union delegates from across the country. Together, they debated and voted on a record 45 resolutions – many that may be of direct interest to airline sector workers.

Delegates also shared their ideas and input on Strategic Directions, CUPE’s general political bargaining plan for the next two years.

The plan sets out how we will make gains in our workplaces and communities, fight racism and discrimination in all its forms, defend public services, and advocate for a better country and world. Click here to read Strategic Directions, debated and passed at Convention.

Resolution highlights:

  • Resolution No. 146: CUPE National will promote education and raise awareness of health and safety hazards of shiftwork. The materials will suggest ways of coping with shiftwork, organizational or group approaches to redesigning the work schedule, and fair redistribution of workload.
  • Resolution No. 143: CUPE National will create a toolkit on the topic of sexual violence at work (similar to the domestic violence bargaining tool kit) to include language to bargain on the topic, training on the continuum of sexual violence, general education about the topic. This will include resources to support Stewards and union members in their support of others.
  • Resolution No. 253: CUPE National will lobby the federal government to establish domestic violence leave in federal legislation. And assist other CUPE divisions in lobbying other provincial governments to establish this leave in other provinces.
  • Resolution No. 126: CUPE National will promote a multi sector campaign that will inform members about the importance of reporting incidents, accidents and near misses.
  • Resolution No. 208: CUPE National will raise awareness of issues and establish educational tools and services around LGBTTI older persons and seniors in Canada, work with Égale Canada’s National LGBTlQ2S Senior Consultation, and work with CUPE healthcare locals across Canada to promote LGBTTI awareness/sensitivity amongst health care workers in Canada.

Delegates approved a resolution to begin pay for eligible members of striking locals on the first day of a strike, instead of the fifth, as is currently the case. This move will strengthen the position of locals who encounter obstinate and unreasonable demands from employers at the bargaining table. This change to strike pay is effective immediately.

Coupled with the union’s renewed bargaining policy, which rejects all attempts by employers to force concessions and two-tier proposals on workers, we now have a full set of tools to take on bargaining in a climate of aggressive austerity.

Several resolutions also addressed privatization of our infrastructure and health services. These resolutions have mandated CUPE to oppose privatization of airports and other infrastructure and support the establishment of a national pharmacare program. A full list of resolutions is available on the CUPE website.

CUPE members decide their schedules

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Schedules are the centre of a cabin crew member’s livelihood. As you know, they dictate where you go and how much time you have with your loved ones. Many of you have commitments that rely on you. And only knowing what your next month looks like a week before it begins makes it difficult to plan your lives.

CUPE flight attendant locals have dealt with the same issues relating to schedules. But through collective bargaining, they have created contract language and rules around scheduling that protect them and suit their needs. Some even managed to set specific timelines with penalties imposed on the employer if those parameters aren’t being followed. Another example includes block guarantee if errors occur.

Scheduling committees made up of cabin crew meet each month to verify that all the block rules pertaining to awarded blocks are respected. They also make sure that the pairings respect the collective agreement pre-departure for the bidding period (such as duty time, crew rest, so on) as well as post-arrival. They even have mechanisms to compensate the aggrieved cabin crew. These compensations can range from having a flight paid, being award a day off, or adding them as extra cabin crew on the flight they should have been awarded. In some cases, they are removed from flights they should not have been scheduled on with full pay and benefits!

Working together, CUPE will help WestJet Cabin Crew achieve a strong collective agreement that fits their needs and priorities. We do this by surveying the membership, working with your elected bargaining committee to draft proposals, and delivering on them at the bargaining table. And that’s in addition to a range of industry-leading specialists assigned to your sector, including legal, research, communications, and pension experts.

But at the end of the day, it will be WestJet Cabin Crew who are in control of your union and your priorities. Each step of the way, you will have CUPE’s support to get the fair contract and strong representation you need and deserve.

Sign a card today!

CUPE excited to offer WestJet Encore Cabin Crew a fair contract and strong representation

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The drive to give WestJetters a stronger voice at work is picking up steam, as CUPE and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) simultaneously launch their drives to bring WestJet Encore Cabin Crew and pilots the fair contract and representation they deserve.

ALPA worked with WestJet pilots to successfully certify in May, and bargaining on their first collective agreement has already begun.

WestJet and WestJet Encore are eager to follow in their footsteps and get to the bargaining table too.

After the withdrawal of the WestJet Professional Flight Attendants Association (WPFAA) in late August, it’s clear that CUPE is the best choice for WestJet and WestJet Encore Cabin Crew.

WestJetters are ready for a stronger voice at work and better working conditions – and CUPE is ready to work with them to achieve it!

The work continues to amplify your voice at WestJet

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Dear WestJetters,

We have recently learned that WPFAA has ended its organizing drive at WestJet. We know the amount of hard work involved in an organizing drive, and we would like to extend our thanks to Tara Mowat and all those involved with the WPFAA campaign. Their dedication over the past years has helped show that WestJet flight attendants truly are committed to having legal representation and a negotiated collective agreement. This is not the time to give up on that goal.

Right now, there is an incredible opportunity to join your voices together, improve your working conditions, and make your jobs even better. With the support of Canada’s flight attendant union, you can secure the strong, constructive, and legally binding representation that you deserve. CUPE represents the vast majority of flight attendants in Canada, with 11,500 airline members nationwide. We have a long and proud track record of listening to our members and working with them to achieve the best contracts in the industry.

CUPE’s goal is not to become your voice; it is to amplify your voice. We are committed to fair working conditions and a safer, more respectful work environment at WestJet. Let’s work together to make this a reality.

In solidarity,

Mark Hancock
National President

National Secretary-Treasurer

To sign a CUPE union card, click here.

To sign up for updates from CUPE, click here.

Get the latest news and updates on our campaign and engage by liking and sharing our Facebook page, CUPE & WestJet: We’re Ready.