What’s the difference between a Union and an Employee Association?

hpouliot Uncategorized

Lately we have been getting questions from Encore flight attendants asking what’s the difference between a union and the existing association (EWCCA).

The simplest answer is, with a union, you get a legally binding contract that does not change whenever its convenient for management. A union is accountable to you not the company. And with a union, decisions are made transparently and democratically.

With CUPE, you are the union. The strength of the union comes from its members. Union staff are accountable to members – meaning you and your fellow flight attendants. Unlike EWCCA, CUPE doesn’t have to answer to WestJet management, and our funding doesn’t depend on keeping management happy.

With CUPE, you are empowered to make decisions which improve the well-being of flight attendants and push for policies that make sense for a cruising altitude of 23,000 feet, not at a desk at ground level.

These important differences between CUPE and an employee association are especially important right now as EWCCA prepares to “negotiate” a “contract” in the new year. Encore flight attendants need to negotiate a real legally-binding contract to protect their rights at work.

We’re ready for a real union at Encore!

Help your colleagues make real change that works for you. Sign a friend up today!

CUPE Non-unionized employee groups
Has collective bargaining rights protected by legislation (Canada Labour Code) YES NO
Can, through legislation, compel the employer to bargain YES NO
Covered by provisions to assist with achieving a first collective agreement YES NO
Bargains collective agreements that are enforceable and binding YES NO
Employer cannot unilaterally change the terms and conditions of a collective agreement – must have the agreement of the Union YES NO
Accountable to its members YES NO
Members approve the bargaining proposals before the bargaining committee starts bargaining YES NO
Bargaining committee reports back to members on regular basis YES NO
Members approve the collective agreement YES NO
Has an enforceable dispute resolution process with timelines and the ability to refer to an independent arbitrator (grievance procedure) YES NO
Has decades of experience negotiating collective agreements for flight attendants in Canada YES NO
Has the resources and expertise to meet the employer on a level playing field when negotiating a collective agreement YES NO
Dependent on the employer to provide resources for bargaining (and general operations) NO YES

Check out the PDF version here.