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AMFA Prepared To Address The WestJet-Sunwing Merger Through CIRB Process
Aug 03, 2023

August 3, 2023

Dear WestJet Skilled-Trade Professionals:

As many of you know, on March 10, 2023, the Canadian Minister of Transport approved WestJet’s acquisition of a controlling interest in Sunwing Airlines.  Sunwing is a low-cost carrier focused on vacation travel, and approximately 90% of the Sunwing aircraft maintenance workforce is based in Toronto.  The approval by the Minister of Transport came with enforceable conditions including a requirement that the two companies increase employment in Toronto by 30% over the next three (3) years. 

On July 27, 2023, WestJet and Sunwing filed a joint application with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) seeking confirmation that there has been a “sale of business” as that term is defined in the Canada Labour Code.  The application is the first step in a lengthy process whereby combined companies may begin to combine their labour forces. 

If the CIRB finds that a “sale of business” has occurred, it may request that company and union representatives meet to discuss the integration process.  The CIRB will make such a request if it finds that integration of the labour forces is absolutely necessary.  AMFA is prepared to engage in these discussions if required by the Board.  The discussions would occur separate and apart from the collective bargaining process between AMFA and WestJet.

The sale of business process will not limit AMFA’s ability to represent or advocate for its WestJet members.  As confirmed in the application submitted to the Board, AMFA currently represents approximately 94% of a hypothetical WestJet-Sunwing aircraft maintenance workforce.  The most likely result of the process is that AMFA will extend its representation to those aircraft maintenance professionals currently employed by Sunwing.  AMFA would warmly welcome Sunwing employees to the only trade-specific union that exclusively represents aircraft skilled trade maintenance professionals.

We will continue to provide updates as the Board considers the sale of business application.


Bret Oestreich
National President

7853 E. Arapahoe Court, Suite 1100
Centennial, CO 80112

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