Why join CUPE?

  • CUPE is Canada’s flight attendant union. As employees of a leading national airline, WestJet Cabin Crew Members deserve a leading national labour union to represent them. CUPE represents the vast majority of flight attendants in Canada, with 11,500 airline members nationwide, and has a long and proud track record of working with members to achieve the best contracts in the industry.

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)
  • Your union, your say. As CUPE members, WestJet Cabin Crew will elect our own members to represent us at the bargaining table, and we’ll have full autonomy over our decision-making and finances, while enjoying the full support and resources of Canada’s largest labour union.
  • Safer, healthier workplaces. CUPE has decades of experience successfully lobbying for better standards in the airline sector, including sufficient cabin crew, protection against fatigue, and professional job training. CUPE has also successfully negotiated collective agreements to maintain a safety proven ratio of flight attendants to passengers, and continues to lead the fight nationally against the 1:50 ratio.

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
  • Fighting for gender equity. CUPE has led the fight for professional respect and dignity for flight attendants, the majority of whom are women, including pay equity challenges, arbitrations against sexist grooming and uniform policies, and preventative leave for pregnant flight attendants to limit exposure to hazards.
  • The tools we need. CUPE will provide us with industry-leading resources in education, legal, communications and research, and a $97 million defense fund to assist members during job action.
  • Strong contracts. CUPE continues to negotiate strong contracts to protect airline workers against excessive work days and overtime, health and safety violations, and downward pressure on wages and benefits – all at a time when transportation workers across Canada are threatened by increasing precarity.

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)
  • When you compare other contracts negotiated by CUPE in the airline sector, the CUPE advantage is clear:
    • Pay for ground delays
    • Pay for layovers
    • Clearly established rules to address paycheque discrepancies
    • Higher starting hourly wages
    • Higher pay for Cabin Crew Leaders
    • Better retirement security through employer-contribution pension plans
    • Longer crew rest periods for longer flights
    • Footwear allowance