On Feb. 28, 2021, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and WestJet announced a tentative first collective agreement for the airline’s mainline cabin crew.
CUPE has represented cabin crew at WestJet since July 2018. The parties have been engaged in collective bargaining towards a first union contract since April 2019.
President Chris Rauenbusch of CUPE Local 4070, which represents more than 3,100 WestJet cabin crew members, called the agreement “an unprecedented achievement at the height of trying times for our industry.”
CUPE will conduct a ratification vote in March 2021. The union will not release details of the tentative agreement until union members have voted on it.
“I am incredibly proud of the work done by both our union and our bargaining committee, particularly in such a challenging context,” said Rauenbusch. “Though both sides bargained with tenacity, we believe WestJet has demonstrated a clear commitment to building harmonious labour relations moving forward.”
CUPE also represents cabin crew at WestJet’s subsidiaries WestJet Encore and Swoop. Rauenbusch hopes the tentative agreement with the ‘mainline’ will lead to similar company-wide agreements.