WestJet pilots vote to form union

WestJet pilots vote to form union

The Air Line Pilots Association, International says more than 1,400 WestJet pilots have voted 62 per cent in favour of forming the first union at Canada's second-largest airline.

97 per cent of eligible pilots participated in the election, with 62 per cent voting in favour of joining the world’s largest pilot union. The Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) will now approve the election results; once the board issues the certification order, ALPA will become the exclusive bargaining agent for the WestJet pilots.

The vote was the result of a focused campaign that began when WestJet pilots approached ALPA about representation options. It makes the ALPA, which bills itself as the world's largest pilot union representing 55,000 pilots, the exclusive bargaining agent for WestJet pilots.

WestJet, which has long prided itself on being union-free and considers it a competitive advantage, saw its share price drop 4.2 per cent to close at $21.98.

ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 55,000 pilots at 32 airlines in the United States and Canada.