WestJet flights could be interrupted as pilots vote in favour of strike action

Unionized pilots voted 91 per cent in favour of striking

WestJet pilots have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action if a contract agreement isn’t reached with management by May 19.

The company’s pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, voted 91 per cent in favour of a strike on Thursday.

Negotiations will continue but the vote allows pilots to walk off the job as early as next weekend.

However, the union said that pilots will not strike until after the Victoria Day long weekend so as not to affect travel plans.

The union said that pilots are looking for a contract that addresses “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.”

In a statement, WestJet CEO Ed Sims said that the company will continue negotiating to avoid a strike.

“We remain at the negotiation table to drive a sustainable agreement, in the best interest of our pilots, 13,000 WestJetters and the 70,000 guests who fly with us daily,” said Sims.

More to come.


@katslepian

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