July 17th, 2024

WestJet mechanics take strike off the table as two sides resume talks

By The Canadian Press on June 20, 2024.

The threat of a strike by WestJet airplane mechanics is off the table — for now — after both sides agreed to resume negotiations, but not before nearly 50 flights were cancelled. People look out at a WestJet plane at Calgary International Airport in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY – The threat of a strike by WestJet airplane mechanics is off the table – for now – after both sides agreed to resume negotiations, but not before nearly 50 flights were cancelled.

The Canada Industrial Relations Board said it needs more time and submissions from each party before deciding whether to create a collective agreement via binding arbitration, as proposed by WestJet earlier this week.

That request to the labour tribunal prompted a 72-hour strike notice from the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association on Monday evening.

In overnight statements, both sides said they will return to the bargaining table to try to sort out their differences around a contract for the 670-plus mechanics – their first with the Calgary-based airline.

Union members voted overwhelmingly to reject a tentative deal last week and voiced opposition to WestJet’s request for arbitration.

In anticipation of a potential strike, WestJet began cancelling flights as it began to concentrate and park its 180-plane fleet, according to figures from tracking service FlightAware.

By Thursday morning, the union had rescinded its strike notice and said it will not trigger job action “while, in its determination, bargaining remains productive.”

WestJet said it hopes to hammer out a resolution without further service disruption and aims to resume normal operations as quickly as possible.

“We recognize the impact the initial cancellations had on our guests and our people, and we sincerely appreciate their patience and understanding during this time,” WestJet Airlines president Diederik Pen said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 20, 2024.

Share this story:

11
-10
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments