News Digest / World News / WestJet Cancels Flights Amid Union Strike

WestJet Cancels Flights Amid Union Strike

Alex Vellor
03:07am, Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024
WestJet Cancels Flights Amid Looming Strike: 6,500 Passengers Affected
Photo by John McArthur on Unsplash

In an unforeseen turbulence for Canadian airline passengers, WestJet Airlines is canceling and combining scheduled flights, anticipating an imminent strike by their technical operations staff. This move affects approximately 6,500 passengers with 40 flights expected to be canceled over the June 18-19 period.

On Tuesday, WestJet's aircraft maintenance engineers delivered a 72-hour strike notice, signaling potential industrial action commencing at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday. The labor action involves about 681 highly skilled technical workers, including maintenance engineers. The ripple effect on WestJet's operations is likely to be significant, given the critical role these employees play in keeping the airline's fleet in the skies.

Meanwhile, WestJet is seeking intervention from the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). The airline is waiting for CIRB’s decision under the provisions of the Canada Labour Code, hoping for a resolution that may avert the impending strike.

WestJet Encore, the regional arm of WestJet Airlines, which aids in connecting the mainline flights, will also feel the impact. Owned by Onex Corp, WestJet has been in a tight race with Air Canada to narrow the wage gap between their employees and their better-compensated counterparts south of the border.

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