Release #: WJA 18.02
March 06, 2018

CIRB Grants ALPA Request, Orders WestJet to Cease and Desist

Calgary—The Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) sided with the WestJet and WestJet Encore pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), on Friday, March 2, issuing an interim order against airline management. The CIRB’s decision included a cease and desist warning regarding management’s attempted hiring practices for Swoop.

“This is a great day for WestJet and WestJet Encore pilots. Being part of ALPA—a certified union—means that we now have protections from violations of the Canada Labour Code such as this,” said Capt. Rob McFadyen, chairman of WestJet’s ALPA Master Executive Council (MEC). “This should give our pilots confidence in the direction we are going and comfort that employers cannot simply do as they please.”

Last month, ALPA filed an application for an interim order with the CIRB against WestJet and WestJet Encore Airlines, as well as an unfair labour practice complaint which is still under consideration.

“It’s unfortunate that management refused to acknowledge our union and that government intervention was required, but this was a great win for both pilot groups. We hope that we can now move forward with management and begin working toward securing our first collective agreement,” said First Officer Ryan Petrie, WestJet Encore’s MEC chairman.

WestJet and its pilots have been in contract negotiations since September 2017. Recently, ALPA and the WestJet pilots filed for conciliation to help head off a potential labour dispute with management. The Ministry of Labour has directed significant resources to assist with bargaining throughout the conciliation process, which will last for 60 days and is set to conclude at the end of April. If the sides fail to reach a collective agreement, there will be a 21-day cooling-off period, after which the two sides would be released into legal self-help.

Read more information on last month’s initial CIRB filing.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 60,000 pilots, including the approximately 1,500 WestJet pilots and approximately 500 WestJet Encore pilots. ALPA represents 34 Canadian and U.S. airlines, including the flightcrew members who fly for Air Georgian, Air Transat, Bearskin, Calm Air, Canadian North, First Air, Jazz Aviation, Kelowna Flightcraft, WestJet, WestJet Encore, and Wasaya.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or