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Size of company: Large (More than 500 employees)

Industry: Tourism, Travel, Passenger transportation

  • I am an eight year employee. When I was hired I took great pride in being part of a team. After only a few years all of the good managers were gone and were replaced by ladder climbing sociopaths with absolutely no management or personal skills. It has become toxic. I held my breath when new management came in two years ago, hoping they would clean house but it has gotten even worse. It has spiralled out of control. If they treated the employees like they claim they do, it could be a dream job again. For now it's time for a union. Completely out of control. Very Sad... poor career choice stay away.

    Posted on 1 November 2012 by Rater #83 | Flag as inappropriate

    Was this review helpful? 143 5


I have been an employee for westjet for many many years and unfortunately this post is 100% factual. I am looking at changing employers because unfortunately I cannot live on the false promises that things will change and get better. We have heard that way too many times over the years, it doesn't change and it doesn't get better. I'd sign a union card today if given the opportunity.

Posted on 15 December 2012

Rater124 is absolutely right. The most unprofessional airline I ever worked for. Sad, really.

Posted on 4 December 2012

If you all only knew...

Posted on 15 November 2012

The laws addresses "unethical behavior", ever heard on Conrad Black? Martha Stewart? The list goes on.

So basically what you are saying is you want to be the judge of what is "ethical behavior" and you want to tell WJ how to handle their employees who behave, by YOUR definition of, unethically. The problem is you don't own WJ and therefore have no say in this. As far as you and I know WJ operates within the law and they operate "ethically" (whatever that may mean).

As for defining what is "ethical" that is open to a wide interpretation. Using your women beating example, there are still many countries in the world today that subject women to being 3rd class citizens and we (Canada) do business (trade) with these countries (you and I buy their products)... so much for what is "ethical". When it comes to business money talks (Look at China's human rights record; now walk around your home and count all those "Made in China" items you own... so much for you not supporting "unethical" behavior.), what is "ethical" and what is not is very subjective.

This may offend your sensibilities, but businesses survive on their results and those employees who get "the results" are valued. Those who are not valued, because they are too lazy, unskilled, uneducated, unmotivated... whatever excuse they can dream up... to get the results their company needs to survive cry they are victims and the world is unfair, which is exactly what Rate 124 is doing here.

To say companies are not worried about lawsuits by their employees highlights your ignorance. I know first hand how much companies are scared of lawsuits by their employees. You need to buy a few clues; at least start by talking with some high-ranking executives in major corporations. The time it take for an employee to call the labor board to the time it takes to have a hearing (no cost to the employee) is 6 weeks in Ontario.

Bottom-line if Rate 124 hates working at WJ now then move on. Making unsubstantiated claims here will not change their situation and WJ doesn't owe them anything except a paycheque.

BY the way, your temp example... I never was a temp because I know how they are treated. If a temp chooses to be a temp (and they were free to choose to be one or not) then they accept with what comes with the position. I know it sucks, but that's how the world works. You take a job as a waitress at a pub, then you accept the work environment. Same if you choose to be a garbageman (sanitation engineer), stripper (exotic dancer), whatever... you made your choice now you have to accept the consequences of.

Posted on 3 November 2012

"If the actions are not illegal then how can they be unethical?"

Lots of things are not expressly prohibited by law, but are still unethical.

It used to be OK for a man to beat his wife, and for a person to own slaves. Are you saying that it was OK back then, even though it was legal or not illegal?

We can also look at it from today's standards aswell. For example, temp workers can be let go legally for no reason at all, with no notice. Do you think it is ethical for a boss to use this as a means to intimidate an otherwise exceptional worker, just because they can get away with it?

I just have a problem with relying completely on explicit rules, such as employment standards. Those rules and laws can be twisted for some very nefarious purposes. Also, I don't think that HR departments are as worried as you might think about potential lawsuits. They know a lot of people would rather avoid the time and expense of litigation, especially if the behaviour was technically legal.

Posted on 3 November 2012

RE: "Where does Westjet draw the line between toxic behaviour and "just playing the game"?"

That is for WJ to decide, not me or you. That's why they have a HR dept. and lawyers. All I'm saying is those who cannot play "the game" often then cry how their employer is treating them unfairly and use it as an excuse why they cannot get ahead (promoted). Believe me all corporations know where to draw the line and they investigate all accusations of bullying, because if they didn't the employment laws in this country are such they could easily get sued (It's not difficult for an employee to go to the labor board and make a complaint.).

RE: "hat types of unethical behaviour (although not necessarily illegal) are considered absolutely unacceptable at Westjet?"

Again not for me or you to decide. If the actions are not illegal then how can they be unethical? WJ exist to make money, as far as I know they do it legally and they, like all large corporations, have policies in place to ensure employees are treated according to the employment laws standards. What we have here with Rate 124, as with many of the raters here on this website is someone who cannot cut it in today very competitive workplace. The economy has made being aggressive a necessity to survive. This does not mean you can treat employees like crap (there are laws that see to this), nor should you act in an illegal manner.

By the way, I'm not a WJ employee (I've flown with then many time.); I'm an executive with a large multi-national food company who happened o come across Rate 124's post. I know "office politics" I play it full on everyday. I've seen more than my fair share of aggressive behavior to get to the corner office.

WJ knows what it's doing and would never put itself at risk for a lawsuit, which is what you are claiming they are doing (as if you would know how to run a company within the boundaries of the employment laws)... believe me bullying, especially today, would never be tolerated nor would an employee who is a "sociopath".

Posted on 2 November 2012

If Westjet is actively trying to weed out behaviours that may lead to a lawsuit, then can you provide some examples of where they did just that? Where does Westjet draw the line between toxic behaviour and "just playing the game"?

Are all allegations of bullying investigated and dealt with swiftly? What types of unethical behaviour (although not necessarily illegal) are considered absolutely unacceptable at Westjet?

Posted on 2 November 2012

You just described "office politics", which those who cannot master always cry how the world is unfair. The fact is no company, especially WJ, would risk behavior that could lead to a lawsuit; especially in this day and age of employment laws making it very easy for employees to sue a company for a toxic work environment. If you decide (there's that "freedom of choice" thing again) to work in the corporate world then you need to learn how to play the game. Quoting George Carlin, whom I do like and once had the pleasure of seeing him in Buffalo, holds no water... he was a multi-millionaire who made his money stating the obvious. The kicker is Mr. Carlin benefited greatly from the very system he would verbally piss on. Can you say HYPOCRITE!!!

We all make choices, one of them being where we decide to work and if we decide to stay. Here's a George Carlin type observation, why is it most people are quick to leave a bad marriage but not a bad job? How screwed up are our priorities?

As the world changes so do companies and therefore the work environment. Either you adapt to the new world order or you move on. Complain about it will not solve anything and it certainly will not change your situation.

This might sound like a foreign concept to you but companies do not exist to employee people, they exist to make a profit. So I leave you with this: Steve Jobs (the guy who you and I made a billionaire) was born out of wedlock, put up for adoption at birth, dropped out of college and then changed the world. What is you excuse?

Don't tell me we don't have freedom of choice; we do but you rather think we don't so you have an excuse for being in the place you now find yourself in. Freedom scares more people because it comes with a huge responsibility of placing you life's direction in your hands. I guess George Carlin had no freedom of choice when he became a comedian instead of going to work for an airline. If he thought like you do the world would have missed a great comedian, as hypocritical as he was.

Posted on 2 November 2012

Commenter 6,

Lots of companies think that they are self-cleansing. The rational argument is made that no profit-seeking company in their right mind would allow such risks in their environments. But the reality is another thing. If you think sociopaths are all raging lunatics who stick out like a sore thumb, then you are mistaken. Sociopaths come in all varieties, including the "smooth and suave". Deception and manipulation is their specialty, and they know how to get passed the right people to get what they want. But due to their poor social skills, they often trip themselves up by hurting people who are BELOW them. The trouble is, often nobody listens to those on the lower rungs.

I recommend that you read the book "Snakes in Suits" which is a great analysis on this very topic, of pychopaths succeeding well in the workplace.

I once worked in a company where the CEO was nuttier than a fruitcake, but was able to convince the board of directors to let him stay on. His mind worked like a human-supercomputer. Unfortunately, he had zero social skills and made my skin crawl just being near him. He was on staff for nearly 20 years and retired with a very generous package.

The rater stated that they have been with the company for 8 years, but did not say that they have hated it the whole eight years. In fact, the rater said that they liked WestJet initially. The decision to leave a company isn't quick for everyone. Some people cannot afford to start at the bottom all over again.

As for freedom of choice, it sounds great in theory, but I find that it is more of a theoretical ideal than a real one. The comedian George Carlin once stated that the only areas that people have real choice in are areas that don't really matter anyway. I tend to agree. While I like to see people take initiative to improve their own lot, sometimes hard work just isn't enough. (Contrary to what the Mitt Romneys of this world would have us believe)

As for how popular Ratemyemployer is, who knows? I bet it is more well known among the younger crowd, who are more tech savvy and less inhibited about voicing their opinions.

Posted on 2 November 2012

(a) Calling someone a "sociopath" (you may have to look up what sociopath means to understand the implications of labeling someone a "sociopath") without providing examples takes away from Rater 124 credibility (I presume you agree what they wrote was a bias opinion.). WJ has a large HR Dept. I doubt they (HR Dept.) would allow a "sociopath" to exist amongst the WJ workforce; the liabilities would be too great. Therefore what Rate 124 wrote has no merit and "sociopaths" would not exist is a corporation as large as WJ; especially with so many eyes (employees that would go to the labor board) and a large HR Dept. to monitor employee behavior.

(b) Coming here to spew toxic poison, which will not change anything, is not doing something about their situation. Staying with WJ for 8 years is not doing something about their situation.

(c) Ratemyemployer is very well known, and word spreads fast. As for ignoring "qualitative issues that are being brought up", unless specific examples are given (which is hardly ever the case) then the issues being brought up here are not qualitative. Unfortunately Ratemyemployer has become a place where those who are too much of a coward to actually change their situation come to complain and spread their negativity, as Rater 124 has done. What about constructive criticism? I'm sure you've heard of the concept. What about taking responsibility for your situation? Nobody invited Rater 124 to go work at WJ and nobody is forcing them to stay. We all have a choice of where we work; it's call FREEDOM OF CHOICE.

(d) RE: " …only one rating, it would mean a lot if it were well written, plausible, and balanced." You make a valid point, however Rate 124's comments were not plausible (WJ large HR dept. would not allow "sociopaths" to exits in WJ workforce and no examples to support their claim was given.) and we all agree their opinion was bias.

Posted on 2 November 2012

Commenter 4:

Your logic is faulty on many different levels.

*perhaps the rater didn't give any specific examples because they don't want to be identified and face retaliation. Sociopaths are really into that, you know.

*maybe rater 124 is doing something to change his situation. How the hell would you know one way or the other? Just because something is not disclosed, do not twist it around to imply that there is nothing else to the story.

*not all Westjet employees are aware that ratemyemployer even exists. So, instead they may be using the old-fashioned word-of-mouth method of voicing their displeasure. And not everyone that comes to this site may choose to rate or comment, even if they are disatisified. To claim that ratemyemployer is to be judged solely on its quantitative metrics is to ignore the qualitative issues that are being brought up. Even if Westjet had only one rating, it would mean a lot if it were well written, plausible, and balanced.

Posted on 2 November 2012

Everything Rater124 wrote was their opinion, which I think we can all agree was bias. |calling management "sociopaths" is using language that is uncalled for and weakens the credibility of Rater124. I'm all for criticism, but make it constructive and not just name calling. So no I don't have an answer for Rater124 calling management sociopaths, because such a comment doesn't deserve even an acknowledgement, besides what does Rater124 even mean by that comment, can he give an examples?

As for working to pay the bills, we all do that Einstein, however some of us pay our bills by finding jobs that we enjoy and working for companies we want to work for. I myself have changed jobs more times than I care to to find the job / company that works for me. So what is Rate124 doing to change his situation?

As for you comment "I don't think Westjet would be getting all of these lousy reviews." ... answer this, how many employees does WJ have... it's in the 1,000's. How many reviews are here (not all negative by the way)? 124 reviews. Therefore only a very, very small percentage of WJ are complaining... there's always a few rotten apples in every barrel (unfortunately).

Posted on 1 November 2012

Commenter 1:

Why do you stay in YOUR job? It wouldn't have something to do with paying the bills, does it?

I've worked in companies that had a low turnover, only because the people there didn't have too many other choices for jobs in other companies. Sometimes the local economy sucked, or other constraints that were out of the immediate control of the employee. And these were GREAT employees.

Also, who ever said the the most skilled people with the best attitudes always get promoted? If that were the case, I don't think Westjet would be getting all of these lousy reviews.

Be a smart manager, and don't just focus on what the numbers say. Also focus on what they hide.

I also think it's interesting that the rater has labelled the management as sociopaths, yet you don't have an answer for that. Oh, that's right- it's just a matter of "changing your negative attitude".

Sociopathy is one of the most serious accusations that can be made against management, because it implies a predatory, exploitive aspect of the culture. You should stop spewing platitudes and get busy fixing these problems if you want people to stop posting negative reviews.

Posted on 1 November 2012

Written like a true Westjet manager. Deflect it back onto the employee.

Posted on 1 November 2012

If WestJet is as bad as you claim why do you stay?

Your words say one thing, you not leaving and having stayed at WestJet says something else. Companies that treat their employees poorly have a high turnover rate, I know for a fact that WestJest has a high employee retention rate. You come across as someone who is bitter because they lack the skills and attitude to get promoted. So you've been passed over a few times, get over it and move on (preferably to another company). Change your negative attitude and maybe WestJest will not seem as bad as you want someone reading your comments to believe.

Posted on 1 November 2012

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