Friday, August 15, 2008

From Erin Tarbuck


WestJet has started sending a standard reply to people who write to them (see post below). I STRONGLY suggest that you send a second letter in reply to the response you get. If you haven't sent a letter, read the sample that's been posted and consider sending this letter to them. Again, send your letters to WestJet's CEO, Sean Durfy (make sure you mark it private and confidential on the envelope so that it gets to him). Letters sent via e-mail don't get to the corporate higher ups - so I encourage you to actually mail a letter to the CEO.


5055 11th Street N.E.
Calgary, AB
CanadaT2E 8N4

Attn: Sean Durfy
President & CEO

Dear Mr. Durfy,
Re: Breastfeeding on WestJet Flights

I have been disturbed by recent media reports that your company has allowed staff to discriminate against nursing women by asking them to cover up while breastfeeding. Letters from WestJet representatives suggest nursing women are viewed by flight attendants as potential threats to other passengers' comfort. These letters have also made it very clear your company's respect for breastfeeding as a human right is merely lip service, and has no substance in policy or action.

While I appreciate your company's policy to empower its employees "to make decisions based on common sense and good judgment" I am quite sure their are self and company imposed limits to this judgement when it comes to passengers' rights and freedoms. For example, I expect your staff would not ask a person to stop praying aloud because their religion was offending another passenger, or to wear a blanket over their riskee tattoos, or to disguise the nature of a book or magazine a passenger was reading for fear it might offend another. I would implore you to use your own common sense and consider that a nursing woman is simply a woman feeding her child. It is not offensive. If someone thinks it is, move them, give them blinkers, offer them a blanket to cover up with. Do not privilege their prejudices over a child's right to eat, and a woman's right to feed them unmolested.

WestJet markets itself as a family friendly airline. I can only hope that you effect changes to truly to make it so, and ensure that WestJet's policies respect the human rights of all their passengers, male, female, adult and infant alike.


1 comment:

PhD in said...


I was wondering if you know how I could get in touch with Erin Tarbuck. I may have some information that would be useful to her and her lawyer(s). If you can get in touch with me via e-mail at phdinparenting at gmail dot com, I can explain why.