WestJet CEO ramps up anti union campaign email employees

WestJet's CEO has stepped up the fight against the growing push to unionize the airline's staff, asking them to resist the pitch for organized labor as it will only chomp into their pay cheques.

Last Thursday, 6th of July. An email was sent to the company's 12,000 employees where the CEO Gregg Saretsky revealed that five unions are now trying to certify several groups of WestJet workers after its pilots agreed in May to join the Air Line Pilots Association.

"Unions are opportunistically trying to grow their businesses by targeting WestJetters," Saretsky said in the email obtained by the Canadian Press.

"Because let's be clear - unions are a business. They increase their revenue by recruiting new members and WestJet represents an opportunity to significantly increase their profits."

A spokeswoman for WestJet confirmed the authenticity of the email adding that it's part of an effort to ensure staff is 'armed with the facts' about unionization.

Saretsky took specific aim at the union dues, saying WestJet employees stand to pay $16.6 million a year if the union succeeds.

"Money that goes toward union bureaucracy and in part to organizing efforts at other companies!" he said.

"They get nearly $7 million of your money or $425 million of your money over a 25-year career. What do you get? That's the question we urge you to ask yourselves. Isn't it better to get a cheque than a bill?"

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) which is trying to unionize WestJet flight attendants' President, said Saretsky's email reflects he is "way out of whack" when it comes to understanding unions.

"He's trying to intimidate workers," said Mark Hancock.

"It's something similar to what we've seen out of companies like Walmart and some of those other big box companies that hate unions and will say anything to try and scare off workers from joining a union."