Release #: WJA 18.05
May 10, 2018
WestJet Pilots Vote to Authorize a Strike, but Remain Focused on Negotiations
Union Leaders Can Call Strike if Contract Negotiations Break Down
Calgary, AB—With eight days left in the 21-day cooling-off period, WestJet pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), sent another strong message to WestJet management with an overwhelming vote of support for lawful job action or a strike. A 91 percent “yes” vote demonstrates WestJet pilots’ resolve for a fair contract that addresses the large gaps in proposals on total compensation, working conditions, and job security.
“The goal is—and always has been—to secure a fair collective agreement that brings stability to the airline, and not to strike,” said Capt. Rob McFadyen, chairman of WestJet’s ALPA Master Executive Council. “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.”
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.
“It’s clear WestJet pilots are ready to stand up for the fair contract we deserve—one that puts us in line with our peers across the industry,” continued Capt. McFadyen. “Our pilots have built this airline, and now it is time for our efforts to be properly recognized in terms of industry-standard compensation and working conditions, and real job security that prevents management from outsourcing our jobs.”
WestJet pilots hope to avoid taking any lawful job action. ALPA will keep the public informed of any developments toward reaching a contract up until the strike deadline. Learn more about the WestJet pilots’ journey for their first contract at www.alpa.org/wja.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 60,000 pilots at 34 airlines in the United States and Canada, including the approximately 1,500 WestJet pilots and approximately 500 WestJet Encore pilots as well as pilots at Air Georgian, Air Transat, Bearskin, Calm Air, Canadian North, First Air, Jazz Aviation, Kelowna Flightcraft, and Wasaya. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WestJetALPA and Facebook @WestJetPilots.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org