MEDIA: CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel (June, 2024)

Throwback to a breaking news edition of the CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel, alongside Sherena Hussain and Marianne Dimain talking the Westjet strike; you can watch our segment here.

This week’s Business Advisor Highlight:

Customers should not be impacted by a company’s internal matters, such as managing its staff group; the fact that this strike occurred on a long weekend at the end of the school year makes it obvious that vacationers and families were likely the most hurt by the hundreds of cancelled flights and chaos that resulted from this work stoppage.

Leaders are responsible for managing numerous stakeholder relationships, which need to be addressed on a proactive and ongoing basis; this applies to both Westjet and the union, and collective bargaining should also be done in good faith.  In a competitive business marketplace, customers that are treated poorly and not valued have the opportunity to take their business elsewhere, however, given that lack of competition in the Canadian air travel sector, they are too often relegated to a ”bit player” role in a company/union saga; this is unacceptable.

Customer loyalty should never be taken for granted, and their money has a direct impact to funding a company’s payroll.  Staff members are obviously an important component of any business, but in the absence of a loyal customer base, companies don’t need staff, as they typically are not sustainable entities.  In this scenario of limited competition, air travelers are left to keep their options open and transact with the business that serves them best, on a case by case basis, which is, effectively, the opposite of loyalty.

Thanks for watching!