WestJet’s pilots – represented by the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA) – have voted to support a lawful job action or strike. Ninety-one per cent of WestJet’s pilots voted “yes” to supporting the action should it become necessary. At the moment, there are eight days left in the 21-day cooling-off period.
Capt. Rob McFadyen, chairman of WestJet’s ALPA Master Executive Council, said that, “The goal is – and always has been – to secure a fair collective agreement that brings stability to the airline, and not to strike.”
He added that, “The strong results of our strike vote and the excellent turnout at our informational picketing event earlier this week should provide management the added incentive it needs to bring serious proposals to the bargaining table that address our concerns.”
Total compensation, working conditions and job security are three key issues in the contract negotiations between the pilots and the company.
The pilots will be in a legal position to commence job action on May 19; however, the Association has committed to having no job action over the Victoria Day (May) long weekend as the collective bargaining continues so travel plans will be unaffected.
Negotiators will now head to Halifax to continue negotiations starting next week and are committed to staying there for as long as it takes to get a deal done.
In a statement following the announcement of the results of the strike authorization vote, WestJet’s president and CEO, Ed Sims commented, “We acknowledge the outcome of this vote and recognize the mandate WestJet pilots have given ALPA. We are certain our guests will appreciate that this update confirms their travel will be unaffected over the Victoria Day long weekend.”
Sims continued, “We remain at the negotiation table to drive a sustainable agreement, in the best interest of our pilots, 13,000 WestJetters and the 70,000 guests who fly with us daily.”