TORONTO – The 350 members of Unifor Local 531 have reached their first tentative deal with WestJet at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.
“A first contract sets the base from which we bargain in the future and WestJet members have worked hard to reach this tentative agreement,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “By joining Unifor, WestJet members have gained a strong voice to improve their working conditions and can now do so through collective bargaining.”
The members in this unit are primarily customer service agents and baggage agents at YYZ.
Bargaining first began Oct. 24, 2022, after the Canada Industrial Relations Board certified Unifor’s application for the WestJet workers in Toronto to join the union last July.
Among the key issues include wages, job security and seniority rights.
This agreement represents a step forward for the local and its members, said Karen Berry, President of Local 531.
“We have implemented scope work language which guarantees job protection, created a wage grid which prevents the stagnation of our pay, and established a grievance procedure,” said Berry.
“As we move forward, there will be further steps to take to ensure that the terms of the agreement are implemented effectively. I want to express my gratitude to all of the Toronto members for their engagement throughout this process. “
The ratification meeting will be held May 3 at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Unifor represents 16,000 members across Canada in the aviation sector, including approximately 1,300 at WestJet in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.
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, please contact Unifor National Communications Representative: Jenny Yuen or (416) 938-6157.