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WestJet Negotiations Moving to an End

Pilot Ratification Vote Inbound to Approve Proposed Contract

WestJet pilot leaders voted to approve an Agreement-In-Principle with WestJet management, possibly leading to an eventual end to more than 9 months of negotiations.

The management will put the issue to a vote among WestJet pilots some time in the latter weeks of May. The group has been pretty unhappy with their arbitrated contract, one WestJet reps say was "forced" upon them in 2018. Since then, the group said, "WestJet pilots have fallen even further behind their North American counterparts with regard to critical contract provisions, including job protections, career advancement, compensation, and scheduling flexibility."

“After months of tough negotiations with management, we are pleased to announce a Agreement-In-Principle that goes a long way to recognizing the value and expertise we bring to our airline every day,” said Capt. Bernard Lewall, chair of the WestJet ALPA Master Executive Council. “This contract will also help solve many of WestJet’s pilot attraction and retention issues, benefiting everyone involved from our company to our passengers and fellow employees.”

They say that the new contract meets their standards in granting "better job security, enhanced compensation, and more flexible schedules to allow for a better work/life balance" more in line with what other pilot groups are seeing from their own employers.

“When I started at WestJet 18 years ago, it was seen as a career destination,” noted Lewall. “For the past several years, we have unfortunately been nothing more than a training ground for pilots looking to leave for better opportunities. This contract will change that and make WestJet a career destination once again.”

FMI: www.alpa.org

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