MONTREAL - WestJet Airlines (TSX:WJA) is dismissing concerns that its flight attendants may try to unionize, saying that while it takes "threats of unionization" seriously, they are really nothing new.
Chief executive Gregg Saretsky says "occasional flare ups" occur when people feel like a union may help because something is at risk, but those concerns always "prove to be unfounded over time."
He told an investor conference in Montreal on Wednesday that WestJet always tries to make its employees understand that they are a valued part of the team and also benefit from the fact that they are part-owners and therefore have a vested interest in the success of the company.
Saretsky says WestJet will continue to work to make sure all its employees understand where they fit in whenever there are changes to company operations.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which has a membership drive underway for WestJet's flight attendants, put out a statement Wednesday alleging the company wanted to hand-pick the employee representatives it bargains with.
The union says such a plan would keep the scales tipped in the employer's favour, "leaving flight attendants with no collective voice or power."
"If WestJet's flight attendants want to decide their future on their own terms, they will be much better off if they formed their own union," CUPE said.
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