Work stoppage averted as WestJet, plane engineers’ union attain tentative deal

WestJet and the union representing its upkeep engineers reached a tentative settlement late Sunday, averting a piece stoppage that might have began disrupting flights as early as Tuesday afternoon.

The Calgary-based airline and the Plane Mechanics Fraternal Affiliation (AMFA), which represents the engineers who keep WestJet plane and different technical operations staff, introduced the event shortly after 10:30 p.m. MT on Sunday.

AMFA members nonetheless must ratify the tentative settlement, which might set up the primary collective settlement between the 2 events, in line with the joint assertion.

“After 9 months of robust negotiating, we’re proud to have reached a tentative settlement that can now be introduced, via the ratification course of, to the laborious working Plane Upkeep Engineers and different Technical Operations staff who go above and past to take care of a best-in-class tradition of security for the WestJet Group,” stated AMFA director Will Abbott within the assertion.

The union and WestJet have been on the bargaining desk since September 2023, negotiating pay, advantages and key provisions defining the work AMFA members should full for WestJet.

“We additionally need to ensure that we now have language that protects the roles that you just do. You possibly can have all the cash on this planet, but when you do not have the language to guard your job, you are not going to earn,” Abbott informed CBC final week.

On Saturday, WestJet issued a 72-hour lockout discover to the union, which paved the way in which for a piece stoppage to start on Tuesday as early as midday MT.

AMFA members had been within the midst of a weeklong strike vote, which started on Might 2. The union had already been encouraging passengers to e-book journey on different airways.

The tentative settlement addresses key issues round compensation, advantages and scheduling, in line with WestJet Airways president Diederik Pen.

The airline had stated a piece stoppage would have compelled it to function a lowered flight schedule and permit passengers to alter and cancel their bookings extra liberally. It additionally inspired WestJet workers to not e-book journey on the airline final week.

“We’re grateful to have arrived at a deal, averting a piece stoppage and any influence to our company’ valued journey plans,” Pen stated on Sunday. 

“We sincerely respect our company’ endurance throughout this time and are happy to maneuver ahead with an unwavering focus to offering pleasant, dependable and inexpensive air service to Canadians for years to come back, as one unified crew.”

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