Release #: 21.58
September 17, 2021

Canada’s Cargojet Pilots Join World’s Largest Pilot Union

McLEAN, VA—The Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) certified the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) as the representative of more than 300 pilots at Cargojet. The pilots voted for ALPA representation in August with 93 percent of those participating voting in favour of joining the world’s largest pilot union.

“ALPA is proud and honored to welcome our new flying partners and we have already begun work to ensure that Cargojet pilots receive assistance and support needed to protect and advance their careers,” said ALPA president Capt. Joe DePete.

Earlier this week, ALPA jumped immediately into action on behalf of 23 Cargojet pilots who were unlawfully terminated just days after the CIRB vote results were announced. In an unfair labour practice complaint, ALPA asserted that Cargojet management violated several sections of the Canada Labour Code by unreasonably terminating nearly two dozen probationary pilots while continuing to hire additional pilots. The firings also drew sharp criticism from ALPA Canada, as well as the Air Canada Pilots Association.

“Normally, we would start a new relationship with the management team by discussing how we can work together collaboratively to advance our mutual objectives going forward.  However, Cargojet management wasted no time in demonstrating their unwillingness to be a productive partner in the airline’s success and left us no choice but to fiercely defend the rights of ALPA’s newest pilot group,” added DePete.

As the CIRB reviews the complaint, Cargojet pilots will begin the process of setting up their internal organization and enforcing the collective agreement all with the assistance of ALPA’s dedicated team of pilot volunteers and professional staff.

“Cargojet pilots sent a resounding message to their management that they wanted a pilots’ union who would fight for them and protect their interests, such as challenging management’s recent attempts to water down the federal rules governing pilot rest requirements,” said Tim Perry, president of ALPA Canada.  “Not only will we continue protecting the careers of pilots and their collective agreement, but we will also aggressively pursue the reinstatement of those 23 pilots.”

Cargojet’s current management team has an history of intimidation and coercion. In May, after learning that Cargojet was seeking to weaken newly developed Canadian flight, duty, and air safety requirements, Capt. DePete expressed serious concerns regarding the efforts to diminish one of the most important aviation safety issues for flight crews in Canada.

ALPA now represents pilots at 18 Canadian airlines: Air Borealis, Pivot Airlines, Air Transat, Bearskin, Calm Air, Cargojet, Canadian North, First Air, Flair Airlines, Jazz Aviation, Kelowna Flightcraft, Morningstar Air, PAL Aerospace, PAL Airlines, Perimeter, Wasaya, WestJet, and WestJet Encore. Cargojet, headquartered in Mississauga, Ont., is Canada’s leading provider of time-sensitive premium air cargo services to major cities across North America.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest airline pilot union, representing more than 61,000 pilots at 38 airlines in Canada and the United States. Visit our website at or follow us on Twitter @ALPAPilots.




CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or