Release #: WEN 19.02
May 02, 2019
WestJet Encore Pilots Approve First-Ever Collective Agreement
OTTAWA, Ont.—Today, WestJet Encore pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), ratified their first-ever collective agreement with WestJet Airlines. Of the 90 percent of eligible WestJet Encore pilots who cast ballots, 92 percent voted in favour of the agreement. The agreement includes many improvements, including increased wages, stronger job security, and improved working conditions.
“Throughout negotiations, we continued to communicate with our pilots and their elected representatives and made the best use of the vast ALPA resources to achieve our goal of getting a good first deal for our pilots,” said Capt. Ryan Petrie, WEN ALPA Master Executive Council (MEC) chairman. “This agreement represents a step in the right direction, bringing our pilot wages closer to levels in line with our industry peers, along with enhancing our work rules and benefit structure.”
The pilot group entered negotiations with management in June 2018, after several months of bargaining that ended with the help of a mediator, they reached their first Collective Agreement. The five-year agreement is effective back to January 1, 2019, with implementation of many items upon ratification, and provides increases in wages and improvements to working conditions and quality of life for the pilot group.
“This contract is thanks to the dedication and professionalism of our WestJet Encore negotiators and elected leadership, our pilots, and ALPA staff,” acknowledged Capt. Ryan Leier, WEN MEC vice chairman. “Thanks also go to airline management and the mediator for their efforts in working with us to reach this agreement.”
“This agreement is beneficial for the long-term sustainability of WestJet, WestJet Encore pilots, and all our WestJetters,” said John Aaron, vice-president and general manager, WestJet Encore. “We thank ALPA and the ALPA Master Executive Council for their continued commitment and dedication to WestJet Encore pilots, and we’re pleased that by working together throughout this process we were able to solidify an agreement that is favourable to all parties.”
WestJet Encore pilots joined ALPA in 2017. The pilot group’s more than 500 members operate a fleet of 47 Bombardier Q400s from bases in Calgary, Alb., and Toronto, Ont. Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents 62,000 pilots at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at alpa.org or follow us on Twitter at @WeAreALPA and @ALPACanada.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org