Unifor welcomes WestJet purchase of Sunwing Airlines and Vacations

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TORONTO – Unifor welcomes today’s WestJet announcement of its purchase of Sunwing and Sunwing Vacations.

“Congratulations to WestJet and Sunwing for reaching a deal,” said Scott Doherty, the Executive Assistant to the Unifor’s National President. “With the federal government lifting travel restrictions and more Canadians travelling more for business and pleasure, we look forward to fostering good relationships between WestJet and Sunwing in their new capacity.”

The expansion, announced March 2, 2022, to include Sunwing Airlines means more jobs for Canadians, says Doherty.

WestJet will add increased capacity to destinations. Instead of Sunwing supplementing seasonal demand with imported aircraft, the company will dedicate their existing planes, otherwise used seasonally, to operate year-round in Canada. This translates to WestJet being able to offer more affordable fares by immediately expanding its low-cost footprint in Canada.

Unifor represents roughly 700 WestJet airport customer service and baggage agents in Calgary and Vancouver airports, as well as 452 Sunwing pilots.

“Unifying two leading airlines presents new possibilities and work for Unifor WestJet employees,” said Jamie Mote and Karen Berry, of Unifor Local 531’s bargaining committee, which represents WestJet workers. “It secures our future and ensures that unionized Unifor members have a strong voice as we move ahead in this new venture.”

“We expect this deal will not impact our Sunwing members’ jobs, who have been working tirelessly on the front line through the pandemic,” said Barret Armann, President of Unifor Local 7378, which represents Sunwing pilots. “Our focus is the success and long-term careers of our pilots going forward as we build back better in the Canadian travel industry.”

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information or to arrange an interview via Facetime, Zoom or Skype, please contact Unifor National Communications Director Natalie Clancy: @email or (416) 707-5794.

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Natalie Clancy

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