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Industry watches, waits as WestJet, union say they’re confident deal will be...

Industry watches, waits as WestJet, union say they’re confident deal will be reached

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

CALGARY — WestJet says it is confident it will reach an agreement with its pilots as negotiations continue this week.

The Calgary-based airline’s pilots have had the legal right to start job action since Saturday, but said they wouldn’t disrupt travel plans over the Victoria Day long weekend.

The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents WestJet’s pilots, has returned to the bargaining table.

Neither side says whether progress had been made, but both say they were confident an agreement could be made.

As reported earlier WestJet says it is working on contingency plans to minimize any impact to its passengers in the event of a pilots strike and says the airline will offer passengers a full refund if travel plans are disrupted.

If the ALPA’s Master Executive Council (MEC), the union representing WestJet’s pilots, decides to call for a strike, they are required to provide WestJet with a 72-hour notice of the strike.

“Strike mandates are a relatively common collective bargaining tactic. It does not mean that a strike will take place,” says Lyell Farquharson, Vice President Sales & Distribution, WestJet Airlines, adding that the strike authorization does not include WestJet Encore.

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