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WestJet Bigotry
Mar 06, 2024

March 6, 2024

In a number of its communications, WestJet has emphasized the American origins of AMFA in an apparent effort to sow doubts about the Union’s reliability and/or loyalty to Canadian AMEs. 

The effort is both silly and sordid.

Silly, because AMFA was created by AMEs who felt betrayed by industrial unions that subordinated their interests to those of an unskilled majority.  Rank-and-file AMEs drafted a unique union constitution that actually forbids AMFA from organizing classifications other than those dedicated to the maintenance of aircraft and related facilities.

It was just over 20 years ago that AMFA succeeded in de-coupling AME compensation from the wages of unskilled classifications, which led to a sudden 30% spike in AME wage rates.  The American standard in the year 2000 was just as corrupted as the Canadian standard is today and, history reflects that only a united, craft/trade-specific union can address that corruption.

We believe in a universal AME standard.  And, if there is a “Canadian standard” that calls for denigration of our craft/trade, then it is a tradition to be despised and rejected.

Sordid, because WestJet’s communications are evocative of ugly strategies from the past century where “employers actively contribute[d] to racial antagonism when emergent interracial coalitions threaten[ed] to increase labor costs….”  Cliff Brown, The Role of Employers in Split Labor Markets: An Event-Structure Analysis of Racial Conflict and AFL Organizing, 1917–1919

AMEs are not stupid.  What is their reaction to opportunistic appeals to bigotry based on national origin to perpetuate an unjust standard?  Disgust.


Will Abbott
Region II Director


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

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