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Sick days, paid breaks and up to 20% wage hikes: Unionized WestJet workers in Toronto ratify first agreement

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May 5, 2023
By Talent Canada

A Unifor WestJet YYZ member casts her ballot during the ratification vote for the unit's first contract with WestJet at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto on May 3, 2023. (CNW Group/Unifor)

Unionized WestJet workers in Toronto have ratified their first collective agreement with the airline.

The 350 members of Unifor Local 531 “overwhelmingly” voted in favour of it, the union said. The workers are primarily customer service agents and baggage agents at Pearson International Airport.

The agreement contains wage increases between 8.4% and 20% within the first year, and additional bumps of 2% on Jan. 1 each year until 2026. In addition, all breaks are now paid, and the company will provide eight-week schedules to allow members more stability and predictability, the union said.

Workers will also receive 12 paid sick days if they are full-time, while part-timers will receive eight days. The collective agreement also establishes a Unifor Women’s Advocate position.


“Given the challenges for workers in the aviation sector coming out of the pandemic and the constant upheaval at airports across the country, workers know how important having a say over their working conditions is,” said Lana Payne, Unifor national president. “This first agreement will be the foundation for better and decent work.”

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. Unifor represents 16,000 members across Canada in the aviation sector, including approximately 1,300 at WestJet in VancouverCalgary and Toronto.

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