20 June, 2024

WestJet and AMFA agree to return to negotiation

WestJet today, appeared before the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to discuss the airline's request for arbitration, in the negotiation process between the airline and the Aircraft Maintenance Engineers and Tech Ops employees, and to determine the next steps.

With respect to WestJet's request for arbitration, the CIRB has advised it will require additional time and submissions from both parties before making a decision on whether or not collective bargaining for our first agreement should be resolved by way of arbitration.

In the meantime, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) has rescinded its strike notice, with both parties jointly agreeing to return to the bargaining table to continue work towards finding a resolution.

"We recognize the impact the initial cancellations had on our guests and our people, and we sincerely appreciate their patience and understanding during this time," said Diederik Pen, President of WestJet Airlines and Group Chief Operating Officer. "In returning to the bargaining table, we are committed to finding a resolution to avoid further disruption to our operations."

WestJet is working to resume normal operations as quickly and efficiently as possible, while ensuring the highest degree of safety. Guests are encouraged to continue checking the status of their flights before departing for the airport.

This disruption along with other industrial actions that have beset the Canadian airline in recent months is having a negative effect on the company's reputation.  "This is the thrid time I've had a flight with WestJet cancelled or changed due to industrial action by unhappy staff." Bev Weatherly told us via email,  "I won't be flying with them again, they are just too unreliable. Plus, the cabin crew and airport staff used to be really nice and friendly and couldn't do enough to help a few years ago. But, these days they are just rude, unhelpful and make you feel like a second class citizin just for asking for some water".

Others have taken to social media to vent their frustrations with the carrier.   "My flight for 20th is delayed by 1 day and my hotel and car reservation in Calgary is disrupted due to the WestJet management issues." wrote Satish Pereira.   "It seems to be a recurrent theme with WestJet these days. Last year it was the pilots. This year it’s the maintenance people. West Jet, what has become of you?" asked ThoughtShaking. Do not recommend this company at all. Lost luggage worth over $1200, destroyed a suitcase, bending it's frame entirely. Abusive customer service reps, no refunds offered for flights missed due to staff negligence. No regards for customer baggage at all" wrote Alfons Koestlmaier on 14th June on the Skytrax Airline Quality reviews site where WestJet has a rating of just 3 out of 10.