Encore for CUPE: Application filed with CIRB to represent WestJet regional flight attendants

CUPE has filed an application at the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to represent flight attendants at WestJet Encore.

A majority of WestJet Encore flight attendants have signed cards supporting unionization with CUPE, after citing the need for better schedules and better opportunities for career advancement among their reasons for seeking to unionize. CUPE is thrilled to get to work improving the lives of Encore staff.

CUPE has industry-leading experience and expertise in improving the working conditions and the lives of our flight attendant members,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock. “We look forward to adding Encore flight attendants to our airline family.”

Flight attendants have a tough job ensuring the safety of their passengers at 20,000 feet, along with challenging working conditions and often unpredictable schedules. But being part of a union makes a world of difference, as flight attendants at WestJet mainline can already attest. “Most definitely, my life is a lot better after joining CUPE,” said Kruti Sutaria,  who is now the Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Local 4070, representing WestJet mainline flight attendants.

In July 2018, CUPE was certified to represent roughly 3,000 flight attendants at WestJet’s mainline carrier. CUPE is Canada’s flight attendant union, representing 15,000 flight attendants at ten different airlines nationwide.

April 28, 2019 – National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job


CUPE’S National Health and Safety Committee first proposed the creation of a national Day of Mourning in 1984.

That idea came to fruition in 1991 when the federal government passed legislation to establish April 28th as the Day of Mourning. It has grown internationally as the World Day for Safety and Health at Work and is recognized in more than 120 countries around the world.

When they envisioned the day, the members of the committee wanted to remember lives lost in the workplace. But there was a broader point. The day was also supposed to remind all workers that we need to fight for the living and inspire us to prevent further tragedies.

On each Day of Mourning, CUPE honours the members who died on the job.


Long-time City of Calgary foreman elected new president of CUPE Alberta

LETHBRIDGE, AB – Delegates at CUPE Alberta’s annual convention elected Rory Gill to be their new provincial president, Thursday, wrapping up the three-day event.

“I’m very honoured that members elected me to further the mission of CUPE to protect workers’ rights, promote social justice and better our society,” said Gill, shortly after his acclamation.

“My priorities as president are to help in any possible way to re-elect Rachel Notley and Alberta’s NDP Government, work to enhance communication and cooperation, and work to organize the unorganized within the public service in Alberta.”

He replaces Marle Roberts, who retired after serving eight years as CUPE Alberta’s president.

“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made,” said Roberts, to a standing ovation. “And I’m humbled and grateful for the support and friendship you’ve given me over that time.”

Gill worked in the public sector with the City of Calgary for over 20 years. He first joined the City as a seasonal parks labourer in 1997 and worked in several different capacities until he was promoted to foreman in the Parks Department in 2000.

In 2006, Gill became active in his local, CUPE 709 – the Calgary Civic Foremen’s Union, where he served as a job steward. He went on to become a Trustee for the local in 2010, joined the local Executive in 2011, and was later elected as the local’s Vice-President in 2012 and then the President in 2014.

Rory has been active with CUPE Alberta Division and attended its conventions since 2011.  In 2016, he was elected to the division’s Executive Committee as Calgary Area Vice President.  The following year, he was elected Southern General Vice President and served in that position until he was elected President of CUPE Alberta in March 2019.

Gill is originally from Aberdeen, Scotland, though he primarily grew up in Calgary. He is the proud father of two sons.



Rory Gill, President, CUPE AB Division


CUPE AB Executive Election (2019)

The following people were elected to positions with CUPE Alberta:

President: Rory Gill (Local 709)

Recording Secretary: John Vradenburgh (Local 474)

General VP South: Elizabeth Bonk-Richards (Local 4731)

Diversity VP: Bukola Abiona (Local 8)

Young Worker VP: Tiffany Out (Local 8)

Trustee (3 Year): Inderjit Gakhal (Local 1158)

Area VP Medicine Hat: Sam Ferrier (Local 46)

Alternate Area VP Calgary: Sasha Wallis (Local 38)

Alternate Area VP Edmonton: Jagdishwar Singh (Local 474)

Alternate Area VP Fort McMurray: Danielle Danis (Local 2559)

Alternate Area VP Lethbridge: Lawrence Silver (Local 408)

Alternate Area VP Medicine Hat:  Jason Fenske (Local 46)

Alternate Area VP NE: Mary Morin (Local 2550)

Alternate Area VP Red Deer: Joan Keough (Local 838)

Rachel Notley has had workers’ backs, now workers need to have hers

The work of reforming this province to serve every-day working Albertans has just begun, Environment Minister Shannon Phillips told CUPE Alberta convention delegates on Thursday.

Phillips warned that the progress Alberta has made over the last four years could easily be undone by a UCP government—which is why it’s crucial we re-elect Premier Rachel Notley to a second term.

“The conservatives are back, and they haven’t learned anything,” said Phillips, the NDP MLA for Lethbridge-West. “Jason Kenney has literally said he will undo every piece of legislation we fought to bring in together.”

Read more…

Mark Hancock: “Working people need their union more than ever”

“We have our work cut out for us, nationwide and right here in Alberta,” CUPE National President Mark Hancock told convention delegates Sunday morning.

Hancock stressed the urgency of re-electing Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP. “Jason Kenney has been very clear he is planning on gutting the services that Alberta families rely on—the services that are provided by our members,” he said. “But it does not have to end up like that.”

Hancock reminded delegates of all Alberta has achieved under Rachel Notley’s leadership, including building new schools and hiring new teachers and education assistants, introducing affordable child care, putting a price on carbon, and cutting child poverty in half.

Read more…

The last thing our economy needs right now is Jason Kenney

Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan spent the morning arming convention delegates with information to share with family, friends and neighbours during this election.

McGowan took members through Kenney’s falsehoods, shattering each one as he went. From blaming Alberta’s economic woes on Rachel Notley – when in fact oil prices have dropped in all jurisdictions, not just in Alberta, to declaring the $15 minimum wage a job killer in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, McGowan underscored the importance of re-electing Rachel Notley and the NDP.

Read more…

Equality and Justice Committee launches anti-violence campaign in Alberta

Whether you work in schools, hospitals, social services or any other public service across Alberta, a growing number of CUPE members have something in common: violence in the workplace has affected them or one of their colleagues.

But violence should never be “just part of the job,” in public services or anywhere else. That’s why CUPE Alberta’s Equality and Justice Committee is launching its new anti-violence campaign at the 2019 CUPE Alberta Convention in Lethbridge.

“We hope this campaign brings more attention to the everyday experiences of our members,” says committee co-chair Scott Cush. “They need to be heard and the silence surrounding this issue needs to be broken.”

Read more…