March 1, 2023
Dear WestJet Aviation Tradesmen:
On February 27, 2023, AMFA’s application to represent employees at WestJet cleared an initial procedural hurdle after an Industrial Relations Officer for the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (“CIRB") issued a report setting out the Union's and the Carrier’s respective positions. AMFA has applied to represent the following bargaining unit:
All employees of WestJet, an Alberta Partnership, integral to the coordination and performance of aircraft maintenance, including Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (“AME”), Apprentice AMEs, Aircraft Maintenance Leads (“AML”), Avionics Technicians (“AVT”), Apprentice AVTs, Inspector Crew Leads (“ICL”), Structures AMEs, Apprentice Structures AMEs, Maintenance Planners, Furnishing Technicians, Apprentice Furnishing Technicians, Maintenance Controllers, Senior Configuration Control Specialists, Fleet Engineers, Technical Instructors, Senior Technical Instructors, Technical Representatives, and Senior Technical Services Specialists, excluding managers, management coordinators, and GSE positions.
The positions in AMFA’s proposed unit form an indivisible team that is responsible for aircraft maintenance work at WestJet. Based on employee lists that the CIRB has ordered WestJet to produce, the proposed bargaining unit covers approximately 670 people. AMFA has submitted cards showing overwhelming majority support for the Union.
WestJet disputes the size of the bargaining unit and has proposed a unit consisting only of AMEs, AVTs, Structures AMEs, AMLs, and ICLs. The WestJet proposed unit would cover approximately 570 employees. WestJet’s strategy is to divide and conquer, splintering a cohesive work group in order to reduce its bargaining power.
AMFA’s application will now be considered directly by the CIRB, which will determine the appropriate size of the bargaining unit. AMFA will continue to advocate for the broader unit that shares clear ties and a strong community of interest.