CTV News Calgary Latest Videos
WestJet questioned about termination of employees on long-term disability
CUPE, one of Canada's largest unions, says they could have helped WestJet workers who were laid off last week.
Published Friday, October 20, 2017 7:06AM MDT
Last Updated Friday, October 20, 2017 9:22AM MDT
Calgary-based WestJet has issued pink slips to over two dozen workers but there are concerns about who lost their jobs and how they were notified.
The employees, some on long-term disability, were told last week that they’d been fired. Some of those workers were surprised by the bad news in an e-mail.
The airline says that due to privacy rules, it can’t speak on employee details but adds that the decision was based on medical evidence that indicated that the workers would never be able to return to work in any capacity.
As for the method that the workers were notified, WestJet said:
WestJet’s preference is always to have face-to-face discussions with employees and we make every effort to do so but depending on circumstances, these discussions may not always be possible.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees says that if the WestJetters were unionized, they would have had more support to keep their jobs.
“We would have met with the employer; we would have had some discussion about what alternatives can happen rather than laying off disabled employees. That would not be something we would want to have happen,” said Vicky O’Dell with CUPE.
CUPE represents 650,000 members including 11,500 flight attendants across the country. It is eager to represent WestJet workers and encourages them to sign their union cards.
WestJet pilots voted to unionize under the Air Line Pilots Association in May.