Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

WestJet Cancels Over 400 Flights Amid Surprise Mechanics Union Strike

Canada’s second-largest airline, WestJet, announced the cancellation of 407 flights, impacting 49,000 passengers, following an unexpected strike by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association. The strike commenced Friday evening due to stalled negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement.

Despite a ministerial order for binding arbitration issued by the federal government, the union proceeded with the strike, disrupting both international and domestic flights. The airline plans to keep most of its fleet grounded through the Canada Day weekend, with only about 30 of its 200 aircraft operational by Sunday evening.

WestJet CEO, Alexis von Hoensbroech, criticized the union as a “rogue union from the U.S.” and asserted that further bargaining was unnecessary following the government’s arbitration directive. He noted that the union had rejected a generous contract offer.

Union members, including Sean McVeigh, voiced their demands for respectful negotiations and fair compensation. The strike has led to significant inconvenience for passengers, including those like Samin Sahan and Samee Jan, who faced disrupted travel plans.

WestJet remains committed to resolving the situation and resuming normal operations as soon as possible.

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