Release #: WEN 24.01
January 16, 2024

WestJet Encore Pilots File for Conciliation

CALGARY, Alb.—The WestJet Encore pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), today filed a request for conciliation assistance with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service with regard to collective bargaining at their airline.

The federal conciliation process allows the WestJet Encore pilot group the opportunity to seek government assistance to reach an agreement with the Company on their second collective agreement. WestJet Encore pilots and management began formal negotiations in September 2023.

“Progress was made in the early stages of the negotiating process, with a robust exchange of proposals and tentative agreements on relatively noncomplicated sections of the collective agreement, however, the parties still remain far apart on multiple key issues,” said Capt. Carin Kenny, chair of the WestJet Encore Master Executive Council. “Momentum at the negotiating table has come to a near standstill since talks shifted to larger, more significant contract sections, including pay and scope.”

After months of negotiating, management still fails to understand the fundamental fact that without any drastic improvement on career progression, seniority, and career recognition, there is little stopping WestJet Encore pilots from seeking better employment opportunities.

Membership survey data clearly shows WestJet Encore pilots are looking to be part of a company that values the talent and experience they bring to the workplace. The pilots are consistently advocating for enhanced working conditions, assured career progression, and overdue recognition within the WestJet group. The pilots have provided solutions to the Company which thus far have fallen on deaf ears.

“We continue to face numerous setbacks to our careers as WestJet Encore pilots. It’s clear that our management refuses to remain accountable for their missteps,” Kenny continued. “Despite preferring to have a career within the WestJet group of companies, experienced pilots are leaving due to the poor wages, working conditions, and unknown career progression. Why wouldn’t our employer work with us to fix the fundamental issues plaguing our airline?”

With this request for conciliation, the minister of Labour now has 15 days to appoint a conciliation officer. Once appointed, the officer will work with the parties for 60 days to reach an agreement. If both parties remain at an impasse following this period, a 21-day cooling-off period begins before the parties can engage in self-help.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 77,000 pilots at 43 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA Canada website at or follow us on Twitter @ALPACanada.


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