WestJet issues advance lockout notification to its Encore Pilot union, ALPA

A work stoppage could occur as early as Saturday, June 1, 2024, at 6 p.m. MT, unless a deal is reached

CALGARY, AB, May 29, 2024 /CNW/ – WestJet today has issued an advance lockout notice to the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), the union that represents WestJet Encore pilots. As a result of today’s lockout notice, a work stoppage could occur as early as Saturday, June 1, 2024, at 6 p.m. MT, unless a deal is reached. The announcement comes following the failed ratification of the tentative agreement between the two parties on Friday, May 10, 2024. 

“The decision to issue notice was not made lightly, and we sincerely apologize for the uncertainty this causes for our guests and the Western Canadian regions that rely on WestJet Encore service; we are hopeful that guest disruption can still be prevented,” said Diederik Pen, President of WestJet Airline and Group Chief Operating Officer. “Our tentative agreement represented a robust negotiation process that got us to our final offer. Given this, over the past two weeks, we have been working diligently to understand where we could better align priorities within the financial framework presented. Unfortunately, given the pace of progress and our steadfast priority to protect the summer travel plans of Canadians, a lockout notice was required to provide certainty for our guests and employees by bringing this to a final resolution.”   

The WestJet Group has been in active labour negotiations with ALPA since September 2023. The rejected tentative agreement presented an offer that would make WestJet Encore pilots the highest paid regional pilots in Canada, while delivering industry leading work-life balance standards and commitments to career progression. 

“We sincerely value our Encore pilots and the service they facilitate, which enables us to provide critical air connectivity to regional communities across Western Canada. We are unwaveringly committed to reaching an agreement to prevent travel disruption; however, we are equally committed to holding firm on what is reasonable as we cannot sacrifice our ability to provide affordable air travel for the millions of guests and communities we serve or our responsibility to provide job security for our employees across the WestJet Group,” concluded Pen.

WestJet Encore lockout details

Issuing a 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 WestJet Encore 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. 

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com. 

Connect with WestJet on Facebook at facebook.com/westjet 

Follow WestJet on Twitter at twitter.com/westjet and twitter.com/WestJetNews 

Follow WestJet on Instagram instagram.com/westjet/ 

Subscribe to WestJet on YouTube at youtube.com/westjet 

Read the WestJet Newsroom at westjet.com/en-ca/news

SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership

WestJet issues advance lockout notification to its Encore Pilot union, ALPA WeeklyReviewer

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