Effort on to unionize WestJet flight attendants
CALGARY (CBC) - The Teamsters are trying to sign up WestJet's flight attendants in an attempt to become the first union at the discount airline.
A spokesman for the union says they were contacted by disgruntled employees, who want better wages and job security. But most industry watchers don't think the union has a chance, because even though WestJet's wages are lower, it offers profit-sharing and plans to help employees buy shares.
"In WestJet's case, they've been very, very smart about managing the culture, selecting the people with can-do, get-up-and-go attitudes, and ensuring everybody in the organization benefits from profit-sharing," Douglas Reed, a Queen's Univeristy professor who studies the airline industry, said.
WestJet's third-quarter results, released Monday, show profits up 40 per cent.
A similar attempt by CUPE to unionize the flight attendants in 1998 failed.
WestJet spokeswoman Siobhan Vinnish is confident the employees will reject the union attempt.
"At this point in time, we think we've been successful the way we are," she said. "And we hope our communications between all our people are strong and effective. That it works well for our company and our culture."