WestJet pilots at an 'impasse' with airline over contract talks: union

CALGARY — The union representing WestJet pilots says contract negotiations with the airline have been unproductive and federal arbitration may be needed to avert a strike.

ALPA Canada, which represents approximately 1,800 pilots at WestJet and its low-cost subsidiary Swoop, says it has been negotiating with the Calgary-based company since September.

It says the two parties are at an impasse over issues like wages and scheduling.

WestJet pilots first unionized in May 2017, marking a major shift in culture at the famously non-union airline.

The pilots' first union contract, which expired at the end of 2022, was the result of an arbitrated settlement.

That settlement, reached in 2018, averted a threatened pilots' strike, as WestJet pilots had voted in favour of job action after contract talks fell apart.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 7, 2023.

The Canadian Press