What are other flight attendants saying about CUPE?

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CUPE represents over 11,500 flight attendants across Canada, working for airlines big and small. Having represented flight attendants since 1986, CUPE understands the sector, and is proud to offer its airlines locals the extensive resources they need to get the fair contracts and representation they deserve. Read more below on why they’re proud to call CUPE their union, and why they hope you’ll join with them to grow the voice of flight attendants across Canada!

“As a new local, CUPE has provided us with support and training to help us have a stronger voice at work. CUPE provides us resources and advice, but ultimately it is our local and our membership who make the decisions. So, don’t feel like a “big” union is going to tell you what to do; CUPE will just provide you the legal advice and education so you can make informed decisions. I encourage WestJetters to join CUPE so you too can have a stronger voice at work!”

— Alex Habib, President, CUPE Local 4098 (Air Canada Rouge Flight Attendants Union)

“This is a valuable opportunity to benefit from CUPE National’s expertise and to be part of the Airline Division community of Flight Attendants that CUPE currently represents. With dedicated staff that understands the uniqueness of the airline industry, they have the infrastructure, and resources to really make a difference in your workplace. For positive change and a strong voice in your workplace, I urge you to JOIN CUPE!”

— Marie-Hélène Major, President, CUPE Air Canada Component

“As Canada’s largest airline union, CUPE provided all the support we needed in order to achieve the objectives we had identified for ourselves. CUPE was there for us. No one from CUPE ever told us what to do; however, they offered suggestions that made a lot of sense. From the initial union membership drive through ratification of a collective agreement, our contacts at CUPE made themselves available at all times to lend a hand. And they continue to support us today. You deserve the same benefits and respect. Put your trust in CUPE just as we did at Sunwing. Your allies at CUPE will help you get what you and your co-workers deserve.”

— Mark Brancelj, President, CUPE 4055 (Sunwing Flight Attendants Union)

“If you join CUPE, you’ll still be ‘WestJetters’, you’ll still be ‘Owners’ and you’ll still have all the power to make your own decisions. Along with all of that, though, you’ll have an abundance of resources and expertise at your fingertips. Your members will be afforded valuable training and the opportunity to join National Committees that work together to strengthen such things as health and safety, LGBT rights, women’s rights, pensions and more. And you’ll have the support of 650,000 other CUPE members across the country if and when you ever need it. It’s a win-win situation and I urge you to come on board by joining CUPE.”

— Martyn Smith, President, CUPE Air Transat Flight Attendants Union

“CUPE has provided the Canadian North Flight Attendants’ group the ability and the knowledge required to bargain our very first union collective agreement with Canadian North Airlines, and at the same time we are still able to maintain a professional and respectful working relationship with the management team. Open communication with the management team also allows the grievance procedure to be heard and any issues resolved quickly. The association quickly reaches its limitation when it comes to resolving issues or the ability to bargain a fair collective agreement. Ever since we became unionized with CUPE, we have continued to improve the quality of life for our members at Local 4053 through the implementation of the new agreement.”

— James Yang, President, CUPE 4053 (Canadian North Flight Attendants Union)

Statement by CUPE National President Mark Hancock and National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury on white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia

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The Canadian Union of Public Employers (CUPE) and its 650,000 members across Canada refuse to stay silent in the face of white supremacy, bigotry, and the racist violence it spurred this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. CUPE condemns these hateful acts, and stands in solidarity with those who courageously stood up against this violence and hatred.

We express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Heather D. Heyer, a passionate civil rights advocate and ally, whose life was senselessly taken when a known Nazi sympathizer intentionally struck her and dozens of innocent people with a motor vehicle.

We condemn the response of US President Donald Trump who, instead of condemning these acts of violence and domestic terrorism, by an act of omission, encouraged them to spread – in the US, and around the world, including Canada.

But as shocked as we are, we must not fool ourselves into thinking that this cannot happen here in Canada. White supremacist violence and vandalism are on the rise in Canada, emboldened by the election of Donald Trump – and it will only worsen if we fail to act now.

As CUPE members, and as Canadians, we must remember that there are more of us than there are of them. We must be vigilant in our efforts to celebrate diversity and inclusiveness; and we must not let ourselves become divided in our fight against white supremacy, racism, islamophobia, anti-Semitism and violence.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we remain silent about the things that matter.” We will not remain silent.

REMINDER: CUPE Open Houses for WestJet Cabin Crew

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WestJet Cabin Crew Members are ready for a fair contract and fair representation at work, and CUPE is ready to help them achieve it.

From August 13-16, CUPE reps and flight attendants from other airlines unionized with CUPE will be crisscrossing the country to meet with you, to hear your concerns, and talk about how we can work with you to make your jobs even better.

Join us! Coffee and snacks are on us. Please make sure you bring your Restricted Area Identity Card (RAIC) to ensure entry. We will not be keeping track of who attends, but we do wish to ensure that only those invited are permitted entry.

Download the flyer by clicking here!

Here’s where you’ll find us:

  • YYC
    • 08/13, 11AM-8PM: Second Cup (506 17th SW, Calgary)
    • 08/14, 11AM-8PM: CUPE Local 4095 Office (YYC Domestic Departures, between Exit Doors 7 & 8, 403-221-2625. Click here for video directions.)
    • 08/15, 12PM-8PM: Brewsters Airdrie (200 Stonegate Dr. NW, Airdrie)
    • 08/16, 11AM-3PM: Delta Calgary Int’l Airport (YYC Lounge, Lobby Level)
    • 08/16, 5PM-9PM: Delta Calgary Int’l Airport (Cy Becker Room, Mezzanine Level)
  • YYZ
    • 08/13, 11AM-8PM: Starbucks (YYZ Terminal 1, before Security, Level 3)
    • 08/14, 11AM-8PM: CUPE Local 4098 Office (YYZ Terminal 1, Level 2, Room GA2022, 905-678-6330. Click here for video directions.) ***
    • 08/15, 11AM-8PM: Starbucks (YYZ Terminal 1, before Security, Level 3)
    • 08/16, 11AM-3PM: CUPE Local 4098 Office (YYZ Terminal 1, Level 2, Room GA2022, 905-678-6330. Click here for video directions.) ***
    • 08/16, 5PM-9PM: Sheraton Gateway Hotel (YYZ Terminal 3, Boardroom 351, 3rd Floor)
  • YVR
    • 08/13, 1PM-8PM: Starbucks (1195 Mainland Street, Yaletown)
    • 08/14, 2PM-6PM: Starbucks (1195 Mainland Street, Yaletown)
    • 08/15, 2PM-6PM: Starbucks (1195 Mainland Street, Yaletown)
    • 08/16, 11AM-2PM: Starbucks (1195 Mainland Street, Yaletown)
    • 08/16, 5PM-9PM: Fairmont YVR (Canvasback Room, 4th Floor Lobby Level)

*** Directions to Local 4098 Office: From train exit at T1, go down escalator on left towards international arrivals. Walk past Starbucks and go up escalator towards Tim Hortons kiosk. When facing Tim Hortons, there will be a set of frosted doors on your left. Enter hallway and turn left. First office on right past washrooms.

CUPE scores major victory for passenger and flight attendant safety at Federal Court of Appeal

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On August 4, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled against the federal government, and confirmed CUPE’s position that safety is paramount in the operation of airlines in Canada.

“This is a major wake-up call for Transport Canada,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock. “The safety of passengers and crew must come first.”

In October 2013, the federal minister of transport granted Sunwing Airlines an exemption to miniumum staffing requirements, allowing them to reduce the ratio of flight attendants to passengers on board flights by 25 percent. It was granted even though Sunwing couldn’t demonstrate passenger and crew safety could be upheld with a reduced number of flight attendants on board.

So CUPE took the government to court. And on Friday, August 4, we won. The Federal Court sided with CUPE, marking an important victory for passenger safety, for our flight attendant members at Sunwing.

It’s an important example of how CUPE works with its members on issues affecting them at work and then takes those issues to the highest levels of government. This win for Sunwing flight attendants is a win for all flight attendants across Canada. And it is exactly the kind of effective action that CUPE – and only CUPE – can bring to bear for WestJet Cabin Crew as they look to unionize.

It also gives hope that a separate court challenge, launched by CUPE regarding the government’s current 1:50 ratio, will also be successful. CUPE also launched the Safer Skies campaign in 2016, to lobby the federal government to restore the safer ratio of one flight attendant for every forty passengers – a recommendation that was unanimously adopted by the House of Commons transport committee in June.

CUPE takes action for WestJetters

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You have a right to form a union. This right to join a trade union of your choice is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But, you must be able to make this choice free from threats or intimidation by your employer.

Last week, a WestJet employee was unfairly removed from an international pairing by management, without notice, because of a “complaint from leadership.” The employee was escorted off a flight by two managers and advised to await a call for an employer meeting the next day. When the employee asked for representation, CUPE was there.

CUPE was able to take immediate action and stand up for the rights of this employee because they signed a CUPE membership card. We mobilized CUPE representatives in the region to be available for in-person support and preparation, as well as direct access to free legal counsel.

In addition, CUPE lawyers sent a letter to the employer reminding them of their obligations under the Canada Labour Code and asserting that CUPE is prepared to represent any person(s) affected by employer intimidation, threats, or interference with the right of WestJet employees to form a union. The result? No further action was taken against this employee.

WestJetters deserve the best representation, to be treated with dignity, and to be respected by their employer. WestJetters deserve the backing and resources of the largest union in Canada.

Don’t wait any longer. Sign your CUPE membership card today to access the best union representation.

How to revoke your WPFAA membership

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Employees who have previously signed WPFAA cards and who no longer wish to be represented by WPFAA can review and sign the Revocation Form – WestJet WPFAA form and scan/email or fax it to CUPE. CUPE will ensure that WPFAA and the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) receive a copy in a timely manner.

Here are the steps:

  1. Download, sign and date the Revocation Form – WestJet WPFAA form.
  2. Send the document to CUPE using one of two methods:
    • Scan the document and e-mail to westjet@cupe.ca. If you don’t have access to a scanner, download a free scanner mobile app such as “CamScanner” or “Simple Scan”. If you don’t have access to either a printer or scanner, download the App “Adobe Fill & Sign”
    • Or you can fax the document to 905-739-4001
  3. CUPE will contact you to confirm receipt of your Revocation Form.

If an FA is working out-of-town and is finding it difficult to print and scan the document on time, they can copy and paste the text of the Revocation E-mail into the body of an e-mail message addressed as follows:

To: president@westjetpfaa.ca
Cc/Bcc: westjet@cupe.ca
Subject: Notice of Cancellation of Application for Membership in The WestJet Professional Flight Attendants Association

It is possible for employees to send a copy of the revocation directly to WPFAA and the CIRB instead of CUPE. You can find the fax or mail-in information of the closest CIRB office here.

Know your rights at work

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Can I talk about union activity with my co-workers?

Yes. Freedom of speech and freedom of association are your rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; therefore the right to speak about freedom of association is protected under the law.

The Canada Labour Code protects your rights:

Section 94 (1) of the Canada Labour Code prohibits employer interference in the formation of a union. It states: “No employer or person acting on behalf of an employer shall (a) participate in or interfere with the formation or administration of a trade union or the representation of employees by a trade union.”

Section 94 (3) of the Canada Labour Code states that “no employer shall (a) refuse to employ or to continue to employ or suspend, transfer, lay off or otherwise discriminate against any person with respect to employment, pay or any other term or condition of employment or intimidate, threaten or otherwise discipline any person, because the person (i) is or proposes to become, or seeks to induce any other person to become, a member, officer or representative of a trade union or participates in the promotion, formation or administration of a trade union.”

It’s important to know that the Canada Labour Code prohibits your employer from intimidating or threatening any employee who seeks to join or form a union. If your rights or those of a co-worker have been violated contact CUPE for more information about how to enforce your rights.

What is prohibited conduct by the employer regarding union activity? Management cannot:

  • Ask whether someone’s joined or is thinking of joining a union.
  • Ask about union meetings or activities.
  • Call someone into the office to talk about the union, unless that person asks for a meeting.
  • Discipline a union supporter for doing something employees who don’t support the union also do but get away with.
  • Visit employees in their homes to talk about the union.
  • Promise wage increases or other benefits if employees reject the join or say they might lose benefits if they’re for the union.
  • Tell you the organization will close down or lay people off or say that management will refuse to deal with a union if the employees choose to organize.
  • Help or even encourage employees who are organizing against a union.
  • Ban ordinary union buttons from the workplace if jewelry and buttons are normally allowed.

What is permitted conduct by the employer regarding union activity? Management can:

  • Tell employees what they think about a union so long as the employer doesn’t use threats or undue influence.
  • Make a pitch for the company or organization and say how good the working conditions are.
  • Increase benefits or start to hold monthly, weekly or daily meetings to solve problems.
  • Resolve problems that have irritated people for years only minutes after an organizing drive begins.

CUPE Open Houses for WestJet Cabin Crew

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WestJet Cabin Crew Members are ready for a fair contract and fair representation at work, and CUPE is ready to help them achieve it.

From August 13-16, CUPE reps and flight attendants from other airlines unionized with CUPE will be crisscrossing the country to meet with you, to hear your concerns, and talk about how we can work with you to make your jobs even better.

Join us! Coffee and snacks are on us. Please make sure you bring your Restricted Area Identity Card (RAIC) to ensure entry. We will not be keeping track of who attends, but we do wish to ensure that only those invited are permitted entry.

Download the flyer by clicking here!

Here’s where you’ll find us:

  • YYC
    • 08/13, 11AM-8PM: Second Cup (506 17th SW, Calgary)
    • 08/14, 11AM-8PM: CUPE Local 4095 Office (YYC Domestic Departures, between Exit Doors 7 & 8, 403-221-2625. Click here for video directions.)
    • 08/15, 12PM-8PM: Brewsters Airdrie (200 Stonegate Dr. NW, Airdrie)
    • 08/16, 11AM-3PM: Delta Calgary Int’l Airport (YYC Lounge, Lobby Level)
    • 08/16, 5PM-9PM: Delta Calgary Int’l Airport (Cy Becker Room, Mezzanine Level)
  • YYZ
    • 08/13, 11AM-8PM: Starbucks (YYZ Terminal 1, before Security, Level 3)
    • 08/14, 11AM-8PM: CUPE Local 4098 Office (YYZ Terminal 1, Level 2, Room GA2022, 905-678-6330. Click here for video directions.) ***
    • 08/15, 11AM-8PM: Starbucks (YYZ Terminal 1, before Security, Level 3)
    • 08/16, 11AM-3PM: CUPE Local 4098 Office (YYZ Terminal 1, Level 2, Room GA2022, 905-678-6330. Click here for video directions.) ***
    • 08/16, 5PM-9PM: Sheraton Gateway Hotel (YYZ Terminal 3, Boardroom 351, 3rd Floor)
  • YVR
    • 08/13, 1PM-8PM: Starbucks (1195 Mainland Street, Yaletown)
    • 08/14, 2PM-6PM: Starbucks (1195 Mainland Street, Yaletown)
    • 08/15, 2PM-6PM: Starbucks (1195 Mainland Street, Yaletown)
    • 08/16, 11AM-2PM: Starbucks (1195 Mainland Street, Yaletown)
    • 08/16, 5PM-9PM: Fairmont YVR (Canvasback Room, 4th Floor Lobby Level)

*** Directions to Local 4098 Office: From train exit at T1, go down escalator on left towards international arrivals. Walk past Starbucks and go up escalator towards Tim Hortons kiosk. When facing Tim Hortons, there will be a set of frosted doors on your left. Enter hallway and turn left. First office on right past washrooms.

I signed a card to join CUPE. Now what?

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So you’ve signed your card to join CUPE. Congratulations! A better life at work is just around the corner. But in order to get there, this campaign needs your help. Here’s a checklist of ways you can ensure you and your colleagues get the fair contract and representation you deserve as soon as possible!

✔ Send in your $5 application fee by mail or online (we can’t authenticate your membership until you do)

✔ Encourage five of your colleagues to sign a CUPE card

✔ Get in touch with your regional organizer to find out how you can help

✔ Like and share our Facebook page!

✔ Keep up to date by signing up for our newsletter

If we stay active and stay committed, together, we can do this.

We agree that we need to certify, but is CUPE the right fit?

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CUPE’s goal is not to become your voice; it is to amplify your voice.

We are a large organization with 650,000 members, and our 2,400 locals range in size of from 20 members to 20,000. What we have in common, and what makes us strong, is our “members first” approach. It is our members who are calling the shots when it comes to setting bargaining priorities, electing leaders, and deciding the directions of the national union.

CUPE is the right fit for WestJet Cabin Crew Members because we have decades of experience of representing flight attendants, and because we actively encourage the autonomy of our local unions.

No one knows what is best for WestJet CCMs better than CCMs themselves – which is why CUPE is committed to empowering you to get the best deal possible at work.

CUPE was founded on the concept of local autonomy and gives its locals an unmatched degree of autonomy among labour organizations in Canada. As long as the local is following the CUPE constitution, it is free to pursue whatever actions that it sees fit to best represent its members.