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AMFA-WJA Negotiations Update #10
Mar 28, 2024

March 28, 2024

Participants for AMFA:
Bret Oestreich – National President
Pat Amore – National Vice President
Earl Clark – Region I Director
Will Abbott – Region II Director
Ian Evershed – Airline Representative

Simon Weizman – Member-at-Large NegotiatorLee Seham – Legal Counsel
Samuel Seham – Legal Counsel

Participants for WestJet Airlines:
Virginia Swindall – Senior Manager, Labour Relations
Gandeephan Ganeshalingam – Vice President Tech Ops

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

Throughout the week of March 25, 2024, the parties engaged in continued telephonic negotiations and Zoom conferences in an attempt to regain momentum in a process that has stalled.  One of the key objectives was to address existing roadblocks arising from WestJet’s challenges to the Union’s bargaining unit, including its unilateral introduction of an Operations Manager (OM) position that has resulted in the elimination of AML positions.  The parties attempted to negotiate a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that would have defined a new Operations Lead (OL) position, resolved the parties’ litigation pending in federal court and before the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB), signed off on a package of five contract articles, and extended the conciliation period in order to delay the advent of a strike or lockout.

Unfortunately, that effort cratered late last night.  WestJet’s current position continues to be that its AMEs should accept an agreement with the following elements:

*   A contract with wage increases of 3.5, 2, 2, 1 and 1 percent over five years

*   Acceptance of an OM position that would acquire job functions previously assigned to the AML

*   Acceptance of Union leave provisions inferior to those previously granted to the Company-created AMEA

Per its discussions with Vice President Gandeephan Ganeshalingam, the AMFA Negotiating Committee will meet in the Niagara Falls area next week to develop a comprehensive proposal in response to WestJet’s existing offer.

In view of the instability of labor relations at WestJet, including continued litigation over the scope of the bargaining unit, AMFA intends to file a submission on April 1, 2024, opposing the integration of WestJet operations with those of Sunwing, as proposed by the Company.

In the course of negotiations, the parties agreed to extend conciliation by one day, to March 27, 2024.  The conciliation period has now expired, which means that a lockout or strike could occur as early as April 18, 2024.

Stay engaged with your Union updates and officers and continue to watch what the Company does as opposed to what it says in written updates or video messages. 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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