WestJet’s VP responds to pilots’ strike vote

WestJet VP Farquharson responds to pilot strike authorization vote

CALGARY — Following the news that WestJet’s pilots union has called for a strike vote, WestJet’s Vice President Lyell Farquharson has released a letter to the airline’s partners to ease concerns.

Here is the letter, in full:

“As you may have seen, ALPA is holding a strike authorization vote amongst WestJet Pilots. This does not include WestJet Encore Pilots. The strike vote began yesterday and closes May 10, 2018.

As you are a valued part of the WestJet team, I wanted to communicate with you directly to provide some details and reassurance that it is business as usual here at our airline.

I understand this development seems worrying, and we are taking it very seriously, but strike mandates are a relatively common collective bargaining strategy and do not mean that a strike will take place.

Our President and CEO, Ed Sims, is committed to negotiating a successful agreement with ALPA and I can assure you that our flight operations continue uninterrupted. We remain focused on working with ALPA and continuing the momentum we have achieved through the bargaining process, which is scheduled to continue in April, May and June. We are confident we will reach a successful conclusion.”

WestJet and its pilots have been in contract negotiations since September. Capt. Rob McFadyen, chairman of the association’s master executive council, says the two sides remain for apart on working conditions, compensation and job security.

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