May 21st, 2024

WestJet Encore pilots announce tentative deal in labour dispute with regional carrier

By The Canadian Press on April 15, 2024.

Pilots taxi a WestJet Boeing 737-700 aircraft to the runway for departure from Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Friday, May 19, 2023. The union representing WestJet Encore pilots says a tentative deal has been struck with their employer, days before the pilots had threatened to go on strike. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

CALGARY – The union representing WestJet Encore pilots says a tentative deal has been struck with their employer, days before the pilots had threatened to go on strike.

In a statement released Monday afternoon by the Air Line Pilots Association, the head of the union’s WestJet Encore contingent says the tentative agreement brings “wages and working conditions significantly more in line” with those of other regional pilots across the country.

Carin Kenney also says it “delivers on providing better job security, industry-standard pay, and more flexible schedules to allow for a better work-life balance.”

Pilots with WestJet’s regional subsidiary approved a strike mandate on April 2 by 97 per cent, according to the union, and they were in a legal position to strike on Wednesday although they would have needed to serve 72-hours notice before walking off the job.

The tentative deal must still be approved by the 355 members it covers, and the union says it’s still setting a timeline for a ratification vote.

Kenney had said earlier this month that WestJet Encore employs the lowest-paid regional pilots in Canada, driving some to seek jobs elsewhere, but she now says the tentative agreement “will go a long way towards changing that.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2024.

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