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WestJet pilots received’t be hitting the picket strains because the airline and the Air Line Pilots Association agreed on a settlement course of on Friday night.
“The parties have agreed to mediation, and if required, final and binding arbitration,” WestJet stated in a information launch.
The settlement will likely be reached via the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The two events will transfer to binding arbitration if required, WestJet stated.
“We will continue negotiations,” WestJet CEO Ed Sims informed reporters Friday night time.
“We will move into arbitration after a matter of weeks, but I think the most important news of all tonight is that the threat of strike action has been removed for WestJet guests.”
Pilots had voted in favour of strike motion on May 10, a transfer that got here after months of failed negotiations.
WestJet stated the settlement means travellers can “book and travel with confidence.”
“For me, that is the most important message that we can send [to] both the country and the 70,000 travellers who travel with WestJet every single day,” Sims stated.
“I think today was a positive move,” stated Rob McFadyen, chairman of the Master Executive Council for the WestJet pilots. “As we’ve all the time stated earlier than, WestJet pilots’ intent has by no means been to strike.
“We have been underneath an imminent risk of a lockout and that place we have been in at the moment, we determined the perfect transfer for our pilot group and for the WestJet passengers can be to come back to the settlement that we had reached with the help of the federal labour minister.”
Watch beneath: WestJet, Air Line Pilots Association attain settlement to keep away from potential work stoppage
Sims defined to reporters what he believed led to Friday’s breakthrough.
“What got us to this point, I think, is a well thought-through negotiating process, a rational commitment to the negotiating process from both sides, I think a high degree of moderation in terms of communication, a commitment not to negotiate in public — which I think has been fundamental to reaching today’s agreement — and… the well-timed support from the government’s mediation services.”
McFadyen additionally acknowledged the federal authorities’s position in serving to to achieve Friday’s settlement when requested how a lot of an element the federal government was.
“I think it was quite large. We had the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service here for the last several weeks and just recently we had Minister [Patricia] Hajdu come out which was a large part of us getting to I believe the agreement that we came to today.”
According to Sims, the looming risk of a strike impacted bookings and value the corporate “tens of millions of dollars,” not together with the hit on its share value.
READ MORE: WestJet pilot strike may influence economic system, aviation skilled says
“After four weeks of operating under a strike threat that has been very damaging to the organization, both financially and to our reputation, I could not sit back and watch the organization effectively slow-baked into this position.”
The deliberate launch of WestJet’s ultra-low value provider, Swoop, has been a supply of debate between pilots and the airline.
Earlier this yr, the union received a problem to the corporate’s proposed coverage of providing pilots a depart of absence in the event that they fly for Swoop.
ALPA argued the coverage was a major change within the firm’s phrases of employment and an interference with the union’s proper to signify the pilots.
Sims stated the Swoop subject will likely be a part of the arbitrator’s remaining settlement.
“The immediate stage of the process is that we continue to sit around the negotiating table as we have done for many months now,” he stated. “The negotiating will conclude with what is called a binding arbitration. So in other words, an arbitrator will determine the values of each case and will reach agreement. So that will conclude in a formal settlement.”
-With information from The Canadian Press
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