WestJet receives second strike notice from AMFA within hours of returning to the bargaining table targeting busiest travel weekend of summer

By WestJet | | 5 min read
Union continues to reject Canadian industry-leading agreement, which would make WestJet AMEs best paid in country

WestJet on Tuesday received a second strike notification, in the span of just over a week, from the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), the union that represents WestJet Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs) and other Technical Operations employees under the bargaining unit. The work stoppage, initiated by AMFA, could occur as early as Friday, June 28 at 5:30 p.m. MT in advance of the long weekend, where more than 70,000 guests per day are booked for travel.

AMFA delivered strike notice less than one day into the parties’ mutual agreement to return to the bargaining table across four days. WestJet presented a revised industry leading offer, which would see WestJet AME’s receive a 22 per cent increase over five years, making them by far the best paid AMEs in Canada. The union’s ask exceeds this mark by a long shot and remains unreasonable.

“Receiving a second strike notification from the union after they mutually agreed with WestJet in front of the CIRB to return to the bargaining table in good faith for an additional four days following last week’s initial disruption, is disheartening and unacceptable for our guests, employees and the communities and businesses that rely on our service,” said Diederik Pen, President of WestJet Airlines and Chief Operating Officer. “We sincerely regret the stress and uncertainty AMFA’s tactics are causing Canadians, deliberately targeting the busy July long-weekend; however, we must hold strong on a reasonable outcome that protects affordable air travel for Canadians, for years to come.”

WestJet is committed to the collective bargaining process and remains available to reach an agreement on reasonable terms. The Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) ruling on first contract arbitration, under section 80 of the Canada Labour Code, is still pending.

“WestJet presented the union with its latest Canadian industry-leading offer. It was swiftly dismissed, and a strike notification issued, leaving us with no choice but to follow with a lockout notice to manage travel disruption to hundreds of thousands of guests. It is our obligation in the coming days to ensure the safe and orderly takedown of our network and to minimize the risk of stranding our guests, our crew and our aircraft,” concluded Pen.

The union issuing notice does not mean travel disruption will occur. However, in the coming days, the WestJet Group will take all necessary actions to manage the impacts as much as possible, including:

  • Beginning preparations to operate a reduced schedule.
  • Proactively managing changes and cancellations, to ensure the ability to communicate with guests in advance of changes.
  • Providing flexible change and cancel options for those who wish to make alternate arrangements.

Should flight delays or cancellations occur, impacted guests will be refunded or reaccommodated, as applicable.

For guests who booked directly with WestJet, changes to existing travel will be directly communicated via the email address provided at the time of booking. Guests who booked through a travel agent or online booking agency, are asked to contact them directly.

Please visit WestJet’s Guest Updates page for more information regarding flight status, travel changes and more.

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