May 19, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Technicians Union: WestJet issues 72-hour lockout notice

Technicians Union: WestJet issues 72-hour lockout notice

Canadian airline WestJet issued a 72-hour lockout notice on Saturday to the union representing key technicians responsible for operating its flights, as it is expected to stop work on Tuesday afternoon, May 7.

“Despite our unwavering commitment to reaching a collective agreement, AMFA continues to come to the bargaining table with unreasonable demands and expectations,” said Diederick Penn, WestJet Airlines President and WestJet Group Chief Operating Officer.

With this lockout notice, WestJet is threatening the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) with no work to force them to drop their demands on May 7.

“The decision to issue a lockout notice was not taken lightly and we sincerely regret and apologize for the uncertainty this has caused to our guests as well as the communities and regions that rely on us,” Mr Penn said in a press release. Published on Saturday.

AMFA issued a public strike vote warning last week and asked its guests to do business with other carriers.

“We cannot allow unpredictability and lack of progress to continue. We have no option but to issue a lockout notice with a view to achieving a final solution,” he continued.

WestJet and AMFA are in talks from September 2023. WestJet has proposed to increase the salaries of AMFA members by more than 20% during the term of the collective agreement.

“We are committed to an agreement to avoid travel disruptions, but we are equally committed to protecting our guests' travel plans and ensuring the long-term stability and safety of all WestJet Group employees.”

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Although the possible lockout will not affect travel, the airline has still implemented some measures such as preparing for a reduced schedule, proactive management of cancellations and changes, as well as flexible offering of options for changes and cancellations.

At the time of writing, the QMI Agency has not yet been able to contact AMFA.

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