June 19th, 2024

WestJet Encore averts potential pilot strike with tentative deal

By The Canadian Press on May 30, 2024.

CALGARY – WestJet says it’s reached a tentative deal with its Encore pilots after two weeks of negotiations, steering clear of a potential strike this week.

The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents the 350-plus aviators at the regional carrier, issued a 72-hour strike notice yesterday that could have seen a work stoppage as early as this weekend.

Meanwhile, WestJet had sent out an advance lockout notice to the union, saying planes could be grounded as early as 6 p.m. mountain time on Saturday if no deal was reached.

In an interview this afternoon, WestJet president Diederik Pen said the new agreement comes as a “relief” for all parties as well as for travellers, some 6,000 of whom would have been affected for each day of a strike.

The union says the tentative deal, which its membership is set to vote on next month, will help with pilot retention, working conditions and work-life balance.

The pilots, who approved a strike mandate in early April, rejected an initial tentative agreement earlier this month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2024.

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