WS Responds After Pilots Vote 62% To Join Union

Open Jaw

After more than 1,400 WestJet pilots voted 62% in favour of forming the first union at Canada's second-largest airline, management says it is disappointed but committed to moving forward.

The Air Line Pilots Association, International says more than 1,400 WestJet pilots have voted 62 per cent in favour of forming the first union at Canada's second-largest airline.

The vote makes The Air Line Pilots Association, International, which bills itself as the world's largest pilot union (55,000), the exclusive bargaining agent for WestJet pilots.

"We look forward to putting ALPA's vast resources to work to help the WestJet pilots reach their first contract," said Dan Adamus, president of ALPA Canada, in a statement.

WS President and CEO Gregg Saretsky offered a brief response:

"We are disappointed with the outcome of the vote but we are dedicated to moving forward as a team. We will now focus on engaging in constructive dialogue with ALPA and concentrate on the continued success of the organization for guests, employees and shareholders."

A 2015 pilot vote resulted in only a 45% yes vote. But the increasing growth and complexity of the airline, which for many years stuck to a simple formula, appears to have increased pilots' desire for representation.

Rob McFadyen, a member of the WestJet ALPA Organizing Committee, stated that the vote was about ensuring support in issues like health, retirement, fatigue, safety, family support and legal protection.

Following the announcement, the WS share price dropped 4.2% to close at $21.98.





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