Thursday, 26 April 2018

The Airline Pilots Association issues strike authorisation vote to WestJet pilots

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The Air Line Pilots Association, announced this week that it has made the called to WestJet pilots for a strike authorization ballot vote to the members of their bargaining group, for consideration. The ballot started yesterday, 25th April and will run for 15 days, after which they could strike and cause mass disruption to WestJet's scheduled operation. 

“Our bargaining proposals are reasonable and consistent with the contracts that other pilots within North America enjoy. Unfortunately, our management team believes there is no issue with outsourcing our work and our careers. They expect us to just stand in place, be grateful to work for the company we helped build, and be willing to accept terms that are substandard compared to our peers,” said Capt. Rob McFadyen, chairman of WestJet’s ALPA Master Executive Council (MEC). “Our goal remains to reach a fair contract that also brings stability to the airline.”

WestJet today issued the following statement regarding the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) announcement that it has issued a strike authorization vote to WestJet pilots.   "A strike authorization vote is a common step by unions in context of the overall labour negotiation process," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "We remain focused on successfully negotiating an agreement that will benefit our pilots and WestJet."

Meanwhile, Air Canada wasted no time in issuing the following statement to encroach on WestJet's business and stoke up uncertainty over a strike before any such industrial action has been confirmed. "Air Canada today said it is ready to adjust its schedules and capacity to limit disruptions for the travelling public and to ensure that customers get to their destinations in the event of a labour disruption at WestJet. 

We know that people travel for a variety of reasons and as the busy summer period approaches, we appreciate that the travelling public may be feeling anxious about their plans resulting from the uncertainty associated with potential labour disruptions at WestJet. With our extensive network and varied fleet, we are well placed to accommodate passengers disrupted by this situation. "

Of course, with Air Canada's policy of overbooking all flights by a factor of 50 and such rescheduling of flights may result in preventing disruption should strike action take place.