Canada's WestJet Airlines pilots approve mandate for possible strike

WestJet CEO Ed Sims says the airline is making contingency plans in case of a pilot strike

WestJet CEO Ed Sims says the airline is making contingency plans in case of a pilot strike

According to the Air Line Pilots Association Int'l (ALPA) who represent the pilots, over 90% of votes were in favour of a strike to resolve a contract dispute. We look forward to welcoming customers onboard our flights to key destinations throughout our network and into our global hubs.

The Air Line Pilots Association says its WestJet members voted 91 per cent in favour of strike action. However, ALPA has agreed to hold off on a strike until after the May long weekend as the collective bargaining continues to ensure travel plans are not affected.

Strike action could take place as early as May 19, however, the pilot's have vowed not to take strike action during the busy Victoria Day long weekend (May 19-21).

"The goal is-and always has been-to secure a fair collective agreement that brings stability to the airline, and not to strike", said Capt. Rob McFadyen, chair of WestJet's ALPA Master Executive Council.

He added that the time has come when the efforts of the pilots should be reassessed from the point of view of the payment conditions and security of work.

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Calgary-based WestJet says it respects the outcome of the vote and hopes to reach a deal with the union.

"We remain at the negotiation table to drive a sustainable agreement, in the best interest of our pilots, 13,000 WestJetters and the 70,000 guests who fly with us daily".

WestJet's Canadian counterpart, Air Canada, will be adding additional frequencies on domestic trans-continental routes to help cover the gap that could be left as a result of ongoing negotiations between WestJet and their pilots.

The company WestJet also reported that the rate of booking of tickets is now slowed down because numerous passengers react to the potential threat of a strike.

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