What’s up Wednesday: Unionization means a VOICE!

hpouliot Uncategorized

One of the most common questions we get when we are talking to newer flight attendants is: what is the difference between a unionized and a non-unionized work place? The greatest and most fundamental difference is that workers have a voice.

Right now at Encore, no one has our back, no one is looking out for our best interests. But that can change. It must change!

When the last contract came around, we were told that we would get a vote, but at the last minute management decided to implement the “evergreen agreement”. And, there was nothing we could do. We couldn’t demand better because we didn’t have a union.

We now hear that changes to the agreement are in the works again, but Encore FAs have been left out in the dark once more. When we have a union, negotiations on a contract will be driven by us.

And at the end of the day, the truth is, no matter what agreement comes out, if it isn’t negotiated by our union, it won’t be worth the paper it’s written on, because it’s not legally enforceable. We have seen that management will unilaterally change anything within it, or more commonly, just flat out ignore it when it suits them.

Joining CUPE will give us the voice that we need and a we will all have a vote on issues that matter to us.

Let’s get this done. It’s time for us to get the tools and resources we need to negotiate a legally enforceable contract that puts encore FAs first!

Share this message by email or post it to Facebook, and sign up a friend or colleague at encore.cupe.ca today!

VIDEO: Why join CUPE?

hpouliot Uncategorized

This week, we have a message from Chris Rauenbusch, President of CUPE Local 4070, sharing his thoughts on why WestJet Mainline flight attendants joined CUPE in 2018 – and why Encore flight attendants need to sign up too!

Click here to watch!

Chris, like many of us, loves the work he does at WestJet. But he felt that something was missing – there was no one looking out for flight attendants.

We feel the same way at Encore, and from our conversations on the line with all of you, you feel the same way.

CUPE has the resources and professional expertise to get Encore flight attendants the representation we need and the contract we deserve.

Share this video and spread the word. Like it on our Facebook page (link to page) and share it by email and social media.

It’s time for everyone to sign a union card. Sign up a friend or colleague at encore.cupe.ca today!

Do you need cards or materials? Email us at encore@cupe.ca.

Breaking news!

hpouliot Uncategorized

This week we got the news we were waiting for! The Canada Industrial Relations Board determined that all Mainline cabin crew members are members of CUPE – including Onboard Operation Team members and Cabin Managers on the 767.

CUPE fought to make sure these flight attendants were treated fairly and got the legal representation they deserve!

For Encore, this is important because it sets the precedent that all flight attendants belong together in a union. We have heard from many of you (QCFAs and flight attendants who help train other FAs) asking if you would be included in the union or not. We think this clears the way for all Encore flight attendants to be included in one strong Union.

This week we also learned that Encore Dispatchers were certified with the Canadian Airline Dispatchers Association (CALDA). Congratulations to them!

It’s happening. Workers across WestJet are building unions to improve their lives and workplace.

We can do it too. But we have to act to make it happen!

Share this good news with a friend or colleague and talk to them about signing a card today! They can request a card at encore.cupe.ca or by emailing encore@cupe.ca.

What’s up Wednesday: Is your flying schedule maxed out?

hpouliot Uncategorized

Is your flying schedule maxed out? Are you suffering from fatigue because of it?

The last month or more has seen a lot of seasonal conditions that have been very taxing. In our conversations with Encore flight attendants, the issue of fatigue keeps coming up. And whenever we hear of this issue being raised with the company, it’s always falling on deaf ears.

“Fatigue is an airline industry standard and if you’re tired this may be the wrong industry for you.” True or false?

False! We are safety professionals first, and we must be well rested in order to act quickly and efficiently in an emergency situation. Our unique job can cause fatigue, but we can negotiate conditions to minimize the stress on our mind and body. We all deserve a proper work-life balance. And everyone on board an aircraft deserves a crew prepared to jump into action in the event of an emergency.

A legally enforceable contract can include language to protect you from fatigue.

For example, for flight attendants represented by CUPE at Air Transat, “the scheduled maximum flight time limitation in any month will be 85 hours; however, this limitation may be extended to 90 hours for 50% of regular blocks…. a Cabin Attendant may refuse to be imposed 2 periods of 85 hours in 2 weeks on a 4 week rotating period.”

And at Air Canada and other carriers, CUPE flight attendants have bargained various protections against fatigue, such as minimum rest periods and protections of their days off.

When we form a union we can stand together to get the protection from fatigue we deserve.

Forward this message to another Encore FA so they can sign their CUPE card today!


What’s Up Wednesday: paystubs don’t have to be a mystery

hpouliot Uncategorized

In the last few weeks, we have been a part of so many conversations about paystubs and getting clarity about our pay cheques. We knew we needed to do a little myth-busting on this topic.

“The airline industry has a complicated pay system and all Flight Attendants are struggling to make sense of their pay cheques.” True or false?

False! While the pay system in the industry is complex, there is no reason that your pay cheques can’t be clear. CUPE flight attendants have bargained for clarity on their pay reports and they always have their union to help answer questions if they don’t understand something.

We have also heard your frustrations. Month after month, there have been problems with your pay and nothing is being done to fix it.

Encore flight attendants don’t have access to their payroll reports. And the amount on their paystub is not always the same amount that is deposited into their bank account. And it just keeps happening.

CUPE flight attendants can access their pay stubs any time. And when there are discrepancies with the pay, they don’t have to spend hours on the phone chasing down answers. They have the help of the union to get pay issues resolved quickly and effectively.

There’s no good reason for you to be forced to tackle these problems all alone. It’s time for a union.

But that’s only possible if Encore flight attendants stand together now to get their union.

Forward this message to another Encore FA so they can sign their CUPE card today!


What’s Up Wednesday: will I stay or will I flow?

hpouliot Uncategorized

The more conversations we have with Encore flight attendants, the more we learn that there’s a lot of information floating around out there – and not all of it is correct. Your Encore-CUPE organizing team is doing a bit of myth-busting this winter, and the question this week is: “If we join CUPE, we will lose the ability to flow to Mainline.” True or false?

False! Once Encore flight attendants file to certify as a union, all of the work rules currently in effect at Encore will be frozen, including flow. That means no more unilateral changes by management! Those terms and conditions remain frozen, unless we agree to change them, while your bargaining committee and the company negotiate a collective agreement.

Unionizing is your right and you can’t be penalized for it.

And once you are unionized with CUPE, you’ll have the tools and expertise to help negotiate a legally enforceable contract that ensures better rules around how and when people flow from Encore to Mainline.

The best way – and the only way – to make sure there’s fairness and transparency in this process is with a good contract and a strong union by your side to help enforce it.

But that’s only possible if Encore flight attendants stand together to form their union. Forward this message to another Encore FA so they can sign their CUPE card today!


What’s Up Wednesday: busting myths (week two)!

hpouliot Uncategorized

Grooming can add a great deal of extra time to a flight attendant’s time at work, and often poses risks to health and safety. The question this week: do flight attendants at other airlines have to groom?

The answer can be true or false, depending on the airline.

True: CUPE flight attendants at Air Canada do not groom. Specific arrangements vary from airport to airport, but grooming on Air Canada flights is the responsibility of other workers, not FAs.

False: FAs at other airlines do groom but their legally-binding collective agreements put limits on the grooming and also provide proper compensation.

For example, at Air Transat, CUPE FAs receive time and one-half (1.5x) their regular hourly rate for all time spent “performing duties other than his own aboard the aircraft, such as a rotation of commissary, cabin cleaning, etc.”

At First Air, grooming is normally not the responsibility of FAs. If groomers are unavailable, CUPE FAs will only be required to cross seat belts, pick up garbage, blankets and newspapers, and replace soiled head tidies and grooming cannot interfere with proper meal breaks which are taken on the ground.

What’s true about all CUPE FAs is they stand together to get the best work rules and compensation they can. The company doesn’t get to make all the rules.

Encore FAs should not have to settle for crumbs.

Forward this message to another Encore FA so they can sign their CUPE card today!

What’s Up Wednesday: busting myths (week one)!

hpouliot Uncategorized

The more conversations we have with Encore flight attendants, the more we learn that there’s a lot of information floating around out there – and not all of it is correct. So your Encore organizing team wants to do a little myth-busting. Look out for more mythbusters over the next few weeks to see some key myths busted, and share with your friends and colleagues.

  1. “Mainline Flight Attendants are certified, which means we’ll get a union automatically.” True or false?

False! The Mainline has certified, but Encore is still ongoing. WestJet Encore is technically a separate company and a majority of Encore flight attendants must sign a union card and pay a $5 membership fee in order to proceed with our own union representation. The good news? If we work together, we can build our union.

  1. “Certification is a done deal, I just need to wait for it.” True or false?

False! If we want a union, we have it build it together. That means talking to our friends and colleagues about signing a card. Signing your card is not enough. The only way to gain CUPE representation is to get a majority of flight attendants to sign their support. That won’t happen if we don’t talk to each other.

  1. “CUPE is here to help me make an informed decision and protect my privacy.” True or false?

True! CUPE organizers are available to answer any questions you have and to share information with you about the advantage of becoming a unionized flight attendant. And, signing a card is confidential. The company never knows who signed a card. Get in touch at encore@cupe.ca!

Spread the word, and invite a friend to the union! encore.cupe.ca


What’s Up Wednesday: Union representation means we’ll have each other’s back

hpouliot Uncategorized

We have heard from many Encore FAs who are frustrated that when they face management they are completely alone. When you are in a union, you are never alone. Your union has your back 24/7.

We all know that we need a union to get a strong, legally-enforceable contract that addresses the concerns of Encore flight attendants. But bargaining a collective agreement is only one part of what joining CUPE will bring us.

Joining CUPE also means we will have representation with management whenever we need it.

Whether it’s a health and safety issue, or a problem with your pay or benefits, or a potential discipline issue – whatever the issue, the union is there to make sure that you are treated fairly and that the right processes are followed.

No more being pulled into meetings alone with management and being forced to sign NDAs and answer questions we don’t understand.

No more run around from payroll when our cheques don’t make sense.

And no more wondering what’s on our personnel file, and what’s potentially being used to keep us from flowing or moving ahead.

When we join CUPE, we are going to have the structure and resources we need to stand together. Whether it’s at the bargaining table, a health and safety committee, or a meeting with management – we won’t be alone again.

Spread the word. Forward this email to your friends and colleagues. They need to sign a card like you did, so we can all get the representation we deserve.



Feeling left out in the cold?

hpouliot Uncategorized

It’s understandable that many Encore flight attendants are feeling a little left out in the cold this winter. Management keeps hiring new employees but has delayed flowing to Mainline, which means many Encore FAs are scrambling to find enough flying hours to make ends meet.

Meanwhile, management has also directed FAs to starrted introducing Encore flights as “WestJet” flights. From the website, to booking, to boarding passes, to the logo on the Q400 fuselage — it’s all WestJet. But Encore FAs have always taken pride welcoming passengers as Encore guests.

This past Friday, the new Dreamliner made its maiden WestJet flight, taking off from Calgary and landing in Toronto. Celebrations at YYZ included WestJet department reps and some managers from Encore — but Encore FAs were left out.

What does all this mean for Encore FAs? WestJet talks a lot about what a tight team it has — even like a family. But Encore FAs are being excluded from important milestone events, and it’s no wonder many Encore FAs are starting to feel like the forgotten middle child in the WestJet family.

Signing a union card to join CUPE can change that. Being a union member will give you a bigger say in your working conditions, and it will put Encore FAs on equal footing with flight attendants at Mainline. You deserve respect at work — and being part of a union will help you get it.

Come in from the cold! Sign your card to join CUPE today and encourage a friend or colleague to join you.