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AMFA-WJA Negotiations Update #5
Dec 18, 2023

December 18, 2023

Participants for AMFA:
Bret Oestreich – National President
Pat Amore – National Vice President
Will Abbott – Region II Director
Ian Evershed –Airline Representative
Simon Weizman – Member-at-Large Negotiator
Lee Seham – Legal Counsel
Samuel Seham – Legal Counsel

Participants for WestJet Airlines:
Virginia Swindall – Senior Manager, Labour Relations
Alex Hunt – Corporate Counsel – Labour Relations
John Romane – Person Responsible for Maintenance

Sarah Iverson – Labour Relations Advisor
Sara Nuhn- Lead Coordinator, Tech-ops
Gandeephan Ganeshalingam, VP Technical Operations

The AMFA-WestJet Negotiating Committee (the “Committee”) is providing this update to the Membership at WestJet, An Alberta Partnership (“WestJet”). This is the only official authorized source of negotiating communications.

On December 6-8, 2023, WestJet and AMFA representatives met in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to continue negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement. The negotiations were led by AMFA Region II Director Will Abbott and WestJet Senior Manager, Labour Relations Virginia Swindall.

On the positive side, the parties reached an agreement on an article addressing Discipline.  The article provides for union representation during disciplinary investigations and prohibits discipline without just cause.

An additional core concept embodied in the article is that of disciplinary redemption.  The contract article tentatively agreed to provides that a prior disciplinary event will only remain in an employee’s file, as a predicate for progressive discipline, for a period of two years.  Put another way, your slate will be wiped clean two years after the disciplinary event.  WestJet sought to create a broad exception to this general rule by providing that removal of the disciplinary event from the employee’s file would be postponed if any disciplinary event occurred in the ensuing two-year period.  The carrier ultimately agreed to AMFA’s position that any delay in the removal of a disciplinary letter would only arise if the employee committed a similar offense.

On the negative side, WestJet presented proposals that would have the effect of reducing employee rights below standards set forth in the Canada Labour Code.  For example, the Code generally prohibits an employer from using its control over an employee’s paycheck to dock wages for lost or damaged equipment in the absence of a prior court judgment.  WestJet proposed an article that would give it the right to dock an employee’s wages based on its unilateral determination of employee culpability without an effective means of contesting that determination.

Overall, progress was slow.  However, the parties have scheduled two consecutive weeks of negotiations commencing in late January, in Vancouver and Calgary, and we are hopeful that WestJet will take a more constructive approach to the bargaining process.

Stay engaged, remain informed, and continue to support the Negotiating Committee as that support increases the ability to bargain a collective agreement your hard work deserves. Your AMFA representatives will provide regular updates throughout the negotiating process.  Thank you for your support.


AMFA-WestJet Negotiating Committee

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

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