Achieving a deal for our valued Aircraft Maintenance Engineers

Diederik Pen
By Diederik Pen | | 4 min read
An update from Diederik Pen, President of WestJet Airlines and WestJet Group Chief Operating Officer, from the bargaining table in Chicago

On May 2, 2024, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), the union representing WestJet Aircraft Maintenance Engineers issued a strike authorization vote. This is a common step in the labour negotiation process and it does not mean a strike will occur. What is less common is some of the unexpected challenges we have encountered while bargaining, which is what brings us to the table in Chicago. 

While it is unorthodox for a Canadian-based company to meet in a U.S. city to conduct labour negotiations, we are doing so to demonstrate our willingness to reach a resolution this weekend. 

Our Aircraft Maintenance Engineers are best-in-class and critical to our organization. Since negotiations started in September 2023, we have continuously shown up to the bargaining table with an unwavering motivation to achieve an agreement that recognizes their immense talent and dedication.

Today, we presented a proposal to AMFA that reflects the critical value of our Aircraft Maintenance Engineers, and if accepted, would make them the highest paid in Canada, while maintaining industry-leading work-life balance standards. 

We have a track record of successful labour negotiations, and our focus is dedicated to finding a reasonable and timely resolution. While we are ready to bring this to a final resolution, we are equally prepared to hold our ground on what is reasonable. With the threat of labour disruption now encroaching and the peak summer travel season on the imminent horizon, we are prepared to take actions to give the Canadian travelling public, our Aircraft Maintenance Engineers, and all employees at the WestJet Group the certainty and reassurance they deserve.

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