Member Testimonial - Sherwin Atonino, WestJet YYC

What are Unifor members saying about their union?

This week, you'll be able to read testimonials from workers in the aviation sector who are members of Unifor. Today we share some thoughts from Sherwin Atonio. Sherwin is a Unifor Bargaining Representative with the newly organized workers at WestJet in YYC.

Sherwin Antonio, Unifor Local 531 Bargaining Representative and WestJet Guest Service Lead at YYC

“For any company that is looking to change their union or get on board with getting a union, Unifor is the best way to go. Unifor is committed and driven to making an impact for representation and that’s huge. More than 500 WestJet employees in Calgary and Vancouver unionized last May year and it’s been a whirlwind – I’ve learned about other bases and I find Unifor has way more advantages to being with them.

There have been a lot of positive changes. Being part of that change means so much to me. Those changes, since we unionized, has become significant in terms of streamlining things – there aren’t as many grey areas as before. For instance, we never got paid time-and-a-half before working past our shift going into overtime. Now, with the union, we get paid accordingly for overtime.

A lot of the agents feel more supported than they did prior to us being unionized. They feel more protected now with the union supporting them, through meetings with management at YYC and YVR.

We are in the midst of bargaining our first contract and we’re confident with Unifor’s support and experience we will get the best collective agreement we can.

We’ve had the full support of Unifor’s Organizing Department and the national union in our fight to organize and now, bargain. Their commitment to us to has been above and beyond. They have done everything they can to fight for us – such as improving scheduling and getting that overtime pay. When we address issues to Unifor, they are swift with bringing them up to WestJet or the labour board to get a resolution.

After joining Unifor, WestJet workers finally feel a sense of solidarity.”

Stay tuned the rest of the week to read more about what Unifor members are saying about their union.

Next Steps

If you have not already done so, you can sign your electronic union card below. Signing a union card is an important step towards showing support for Unifor in your workplace. All union cards are confidential. From any touchscreen device, you will be able to sign your card and pay a $5 dollar fee. The fee is a requirement of the federal labour board, not of Unifor. Once completed, you’ll be asked to verify your email address, this step will finalize your union card.

Sign a union card here

If you have signed, you can encourage you co-workers to sign by sharing the link below.

To help a co-worker sign a union card, share this link:

We look forward to connecting soon.

Bruce Fafard //Unifor National Representative // [email protected] // 587-341-0945

Justin Gniposky // Unifor National Representative // [email protected] // 416-275-6389

You can read previous emails here