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WestJet issues 72-hour lockout notification to its Tech Ops union, AMFA

CALGARY, AB, May 4, 2024 /CNW/ - WestJet today has issued a 72-hour lockout notice to the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), the union that represents WestJet Aircraft Maintenance Engineers. As a result of today's lockout notice, a work stoppage could occur as early as Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at 12 p.m. MT, unless a deal is reached.

"The decision to issue a lockout notice was not one that was made lightly, and we sincerely regret and apologize for the uncertainty this causes for our guests and the communities and regions that rely on us. Despite our unwavering commitment to reach a collective agreement, AMFA continues to show up to the bargaining table with unreasonable demands and expectations," said Diederik Pen, President of WestJet Airline and Group Chief Operating Officer. "With AMFA publicly issuing a strike vote alert last week and publicly directing guests to fly with other carriers, we can't allow the unpredictable nature and lack of progress to continue. We are left with no alternative but to issue a lockout notice in an attempt to bring this to a final resolution."

The WestJet Group has been in active labour negotiations with AMFA since September 2023. The WestJet Group has presented an offer to AMFA that would make WestJet Aircraft Maintenance Engineers the highest paid in Canada, with a cumulative wage increase of over 20 per cent across the span of the collective agreement. The offer would also deliver industry leading work-life balance standards and strong commitments to job security.

"We sincerely value the work and contributions of our Aircraft Maintenance Engineers, and our proposed agreement reflects this. We are unwaveringly committed to reaching an agreement to prevent travel disruption, however, we are equally prepared to protect the travel plans of our guests and to provide long-term stability and security for all employees at the WestJet Group," concluded Pen.

Issuing a 72-hour lockout notice does not mean travel disruption will occur. However, in the coming days, the WestJet Group will take all necessary actions to manage the impacts as much as possible, including:

  • Beginning preparations to operate a reduced schedule.
  • Proactively managing changes and cancellations, to ensure the ability to communicate with guests in advance of their flight.
  • Providing flexible change and cancel options for those who wish to make alternative arrangements.

Please visit WestJet's Guest Updates page for more information regarding flight status, travel changes and applicable dates for flexible change and cancel options.

About WestJet

In 28 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 26 countries. 

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SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership

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