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Friday,  May 24, 2024 3:09 AM 

WestJet Encore pilots approve agreement in principle

  • Air
  •   04-08-2024  1:31 pm
  •   Pax Global Media

WestJet Encore pilots approve agreement in principle
WestJet Encore. (WestJet)
Pax Global Media

WestJet Encore pilot leaders from the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) have voted to approve an agreement in principle (AIP) with WestJet Encore management, according to a news release issued Monday (April 8). 

The update comes following more than seven months of negotiations, the release says, and discussions are ongoing as the parties work to finalize contract language for a full tentative agreement (TA) for membership ratification.

“After several consecutive days of late-stage negotiating, progress was made on a number of key issues including compensation and scheduling,” said Capt. Carin Kenny, chair of the WestJet Encore ALPA Master Executive Council (MEC). “We are pleased to announce an agreement in principle that goes a long way toward bringing the WestJet Encore pilots in line with our regional flying counterparts across Canada."

While representatives for both sides have reached an AIP on most of the terms and conditions, contract language is still being finalized.

Last week, pilots at WestJet Encore, which is WestJet's regional line, voted to authorize a strike. The new agreement in principle diminishes the possibility of a strike, which could have occurred as soon as April 17 had negotiations stalled. 

Throughout the negotiating process, management’s refusal to grasp the current labour market conditions in Canada’s aviation sector resulted in a mass exodus of pilots in search of better work opportunities," stated Kenny. “It is significant that management now recognizes a contract without the required economic and scheduling improvements would result in a continuation of the current pilot attraction and retention crisis at the airline. “ 

The ALPA, which represents the pilots, noted that flight disruptions "are never an ideal outcome for any pilot or their passengers." 

"That’s why the primary goal of the pilots has always been to reach an agreement and not go on strike. The pilot group will continue to make its negotiators available until a TA is reached," the union said. 

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