April 6, 2023
Welcome WestJet Skilled Trade Groups:
We are honored that the skilled trade groups at WestJet have chosen AMFA to represent you as your union. We look forward to starting the collective bargaining process and working to increase the standards in your workplace. The focus of AMFA will be to build the craft/trade, highlight and recognize the importance of our skilled trades.
You should be proud of your accomplishment in becoming the first AMFA-represented skilled trade group at an air carrier in Canada. Canada is among the top five most prosperous countries in the world and has a vast unionized workforce that includes more than 100 aerospace and defense contractors and commercial air carriers, many wanting a trade-specific union where the governance of which is controlled by skilled workers. The Canada Industrial Relations Board’s (CIRB) certification of the skilled unit we were seeking represents an important legal victory in which your local WestJet representatives demonstrated unity, tenacity, and great technical insight. Thanks to that CIRB decision, you can now be confident that you are in control of your own destiny as we strive to improve your working conditions, workplace culture, and aviation safety standards.
AMFA National officers will assist your workgroup at WestJet, as we review your current Employee Handbook and work rules, including the best transition methods for your wages, work rules, retirement savings plan, health benefits, certification training, and professional development in your trade of aircraft maintenance. Additionally, AMFA has given WestJet’s Labor Relations a notice to commence bargaining pursuant to Section 50 of the Canada Labour Code. While we are in this transition period, we are optimistic that WestJet management will maintain their professionalism by respecting its obligation to take no unilateral action with respect to your working conditions without first negotiating with your collective representative. If issues do arise, however, please stay professional, perform your work assignment, and notify AMFA of any improper company action. We will soon be scheduling a meeting with management.
You have a WestJet transition team in place, including an Interim AMFA-WestJet Airline Representative (ALR), who will be the main point of contact for your group. The AMFA-WestJet ALR oversees the enforcement of your status quo work rules, pay, retirement, and benefits. The ALR will be assisted by Interim Area Representative(s) who help the ALR on the floor as well as Interim Shop Representative(s) who administer communications.
In the upcoming weeks, you will be receiving a Digital New Member Package containing an Application for Membership and instructions on how to pay membership dues, which are required to become a member in good standing and be eligible to attend union meetings, ratify contracts and letters of agreement, and vote for your Airline Representative, Negotiator-at-Large, and other union officers/representatives. Your dues provide critical support for your elected AMFA-WestJet representatives on the property as well as the resources necessary to finance your negotiations, grievances, arbitration cases, and to advocate for your trade.
With your help, the future belongs to craft/trade-focused unions where your dues are invested in improving the working conditions of AMEs and skilled trade groups and promoting the full participation of our trade in the future of aviation.