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AMFA at WestJet



June 20, 2024 – Last night, the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) held a more than six-hour emergency conference regarding the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) and WestJet, an Alberta Partnership (WestJet). In a decision rendered late last night, the CIRB declined WestJet’s application for an injunction that would have prevented WestJet’s Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs) from striking.
June 19, 2024 -- In a decision rendered today, the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) declined WestJet’s application for an injunction that would prevent AMFA Aircraft Maintenance Employees from striking. The decision is a critical reaffirmation of union employees’ fundamental rights.
June 19, 2024 -- We are in receipt of two submissions filed by WestJet: 1) Complaint filed pursuant to Section 50(a)(i)-(ii), 87.2(1), and 19.1 of the Canada Labour Code (the “Complaint”) and 2) a subsequent request pursuant to Section 19.1 of the Canada Labour Code (the “Renewed Request”). AMFA understands that WestJet has filed a request to the Minister of Labour pursuant to Section 80(1) of the Code.1 AMFA hereby responds to WestJet’s requests for relief under Section 19.1 and reserves the right to supplement its response should the Board consider the merits of the WestJet Complaint.
20240619_AMFA_Ltr_to_CIRB_re_WJ_and_AMFA.pdf , 20240619_Evershed_Affidavit_[Final].pdf
June 19, 2024 -- The ability of working men and women to collectively withhold their labour in order to improve their lives has been described as a “sacred” right under the Canadian Constitution. That right is now under assault by WestJet.
June 18, 2024 -- In a submission to a federal agency, dated June 17, 2024, WestJet asserted that a deterioration of its aircraft maintenance operations posed “irreparable harm” and sought the agency’s “immediate intervention.”
June 17, 2024 -- A more cutting demonstration of WestJet’s disrespect for its Tech Ops employees could hardly be conceived. Tonight Vice President Tech Ops Gandeephan Ganeshalingam advised AMFA President Bret Oestreich that WestJet is refusing to proceed with negotiations scheduled for June 19 and 20 in Calgary. After the resolute rejection of the tentative agreement by 97.5 percent of the voting AMEs, the parties agreed that a crisis existed that must be addressed immediately.
June 13, 2024 -- The AMFA-WJ Negotiating Committee has called for a membership survey regarding the recent rejection of the AMFA-WJ Technical Operation Tentative Agreement. Your feedback will help guide your Negotiating Committee to pursue an agreement worthy of the membership's approval.
June 12, 2024 -- The votes for the AMFA – WestJet Airlines (WJA) Strike Authorization Referendum were tallied on May 9, 2024. Votes for this referendum were counted and certified by ElectionBuddy, and the results are as follows...
June 11, 2024 -- The votes for the AMFA – WestJet (WJ) Tentative Agreement (TA) Ratification Referendum were tallied on June 11, 2024. Votes for this referendum were counted and certified by ElectionBuddy, and the results are as follows...
June 11, 2024 -- Today, the Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs) rejected a tentative agreement (TA) with WestJet Airlines by an overwhelming 97.25% no vote. The AMEs are represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA). AMFA National President Bret Oestreich stated that, based on member communications to date, the leading causes for rejection are economic and WestJet’s bad faith bargaining tactics throughout the negotiation process.
May 28, 2024 -- On May 10, 2024, in correspondence directed to Senior Manager - Labor Relations Virginia Swindall, AMFA legal counsel identified two unresolved issues in the Tentative Agreement (TA) and Implementation Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) related to the compensation of General Band Employees.
May 17, 2024 - On May 5, 2024, AMFA and WestJet announced a Tentative Agreement (TA) on a new four-and-a-half-year agreement. The Committee has been working with the Company for the last two weeks to finalize the language. The full text of the TA will be emailed to each AMFA-WJA member in good standing (MIGS) for your review prior to scheduled station informational meetings.
May 11, 2024 -- Your Committee is now working with Legal and the Company to finalize the Tentative Agreement (TA) reached last weekend in Chicago. AMFA’s goal is to distribute the TA to members for consideration no later than May 17, 2024.
CALGARY, AB – May 5, 2024 – The WestJet Group and the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), the certified union representing WestJet Aircraft Maintenance Engineers, today announced they have reached a tentative agreement on the first collective bargaining agreement between the organizations. Both parties now await the ratification vote to be put forward to membership.
May 4, 2024 -- We assume by now you have seen the notice and pronouncements by WestJet. In the midst of around-the-clock bargaining, the Company decided to deliver a 72-hour lockout notice to your Negotiating Committee, which stated that “unless we reach a deal” a work stoppage will occur as early as Tuesday, May 7, 2024.
April 30, 2024 -- The AMFA–WestJet Negotiating Committee has requested a referendum vote regarding authorization for the Association to call for a strike against WestJet, an Alberta Partnership. Therefore, in accordance with the Canadian Labour Code and Article XXIII, Section 7 of the Constitution, AMFA National is conducting a strike authorization referendum.
20240430_AMFA-WJA_Strike_Authorization_Vote_Referendum_Notice BBPost.pdf
April 28, 2024 -- Last week, the AMFA Negotiating Committee and WestJet management negotiating team met in Calgary to continue bargaining towards a first collective agreement for our valued AMEs and Technical operations support teams.  The WestJet management negotiating team passed their most recent comprehensive proposal on Friday April 26, 2024.
April 26, 2024 -- WestJet and AMFA representatives met in Calgary, Alberta on April 23-26, 2024. On a parallel track, AMFA administrators were updating employee contacts and making arrangements with its balloting contractor to proceed with a strike vote if required. It is required. It is our intention to issue the strike ballot next week.
April 20, 2024 -- AMFA has received over 100 AME requests for the immediate initiation of a strike ballot. The Negotiating Committee has decided, however, that no strike ballot will be issued prior to the week of April 29. Administration of the strike ballot would unavoidably re-direct Union energies away from the bargaining process. The issuance of a strike ballot would also be a distraction for Company negotiators who would have to address the potential of passengers booking away from WestJet.
April 18, 2024 -- As you will recall, Senior Manager, Labour Relations Virginia Swindall, by email dated February 1, 2024, advised, “It is our intention to have a tentative agreement for the Union to recommend to its members not later than April 13.” WestJet subsequently submitted a “comprehensive” proposal that it knew would never be ratified. Indeed, WestJet negotiators expressed dismay that AMFA had disclosed the Company’s wage proposal to the AME group. By contrast, AMFA seeks to bargain in good faith.
April 5, 2024 -- Today, the AMFA negotiating committee and WestJet management negotiating team are announcing a renewed commitment to reaching a favourable collective agreement, formalized by both parties signing a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that will help us create momentum at the bargaining table. The MOA outlines key points of agreement between AMFA and WestJet that will be incorporated into a collective agreement, subject to ratification by AMFA members...
April 2, 2024 -- WestJet Executive Vice President Angela Avery issued an internal statement yesterday advising WestJet employees that the carrier was preparing for a strike by its Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs) represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA).
AMFA_WestJet_Reply_20240402.pdf
March 28, 2024 -- 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.
March 23, 2024 -- By way of background, we remind our members that Virginia Swindall, by email dated February 1, 2024, to AMFA and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (“FMCS”) declined to confirm negotiation dates beyond April 4, but...
March 12, 2024 -- In response to WestJet’s inquiry, this letter will serve to advise you of AMFA’s intention to oppose any action before the CIRB to integrate the WestJet and Sunwing bargaining units performing aviation maintenance work, including Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs).
20240312_AMFAs_Opposition_to_Proposed_Integration_of_SunWing_to_Swindall.pdf
March 8, 2024 -- On March 5-7, 2024, WestJet and AMFA met in Toronto, to continue negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement. The negotiations took place against the backdrop of an extraordinary promise made by WestJet, the fulfillment of which is increasingly doubtful.
March 8, 2024 -- In a company-wide webinar held on March 5, WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech described negotiations with the carrier’s Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs) as “contentious” and denigrated the Union for seeking American standard terms and conditions of employment for its members.
20240308_WJA_Threatens_to_Cease_Maintenance_Operations.pdf
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.
20240306_WJA Bigotry.pdf
February 9, 2024 -- Calgary AMEs turned out in large numbers both at the negotiations site (Downtown Marriott) and at a pre-negotiations social gathering at the Jetz bar near Calgary International Airport.
February 5, 2024 -- On January 26, 2024, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) advised that WestJet Airlines had filed a Notice of Dispute pursuant to Section 71 of the Canada Labour Code relating to the ongoing contract negotiations between the carrier and its Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs) represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA). WestJet filed the notice, without prior consultation with AMFA, after only three negotiation sessions.
February 2, 2024 -- January 30 - February 1, 2024, WestJet and AMFA representatives met in Vancouver to continue negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement.
January 23, 2024 -- AMFA and WestJet have been engaged in robust contract negotiations since October 2023. On January 22, 2024, AMFA was advised that WestJet had filed a Notice of Dispute with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The Notice seeks the appointment of a Conciliation Officer to monitor future negotiations between the parties.
December 18, 2023 -- 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.
December 11, 2023 -- Today, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) filed unfair labour practice charges against WestJet Airlines (WJA) with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). On March 30, 2023, the CIRB certified AMFA as the representative of the airline’s Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs) and all other skilled aircraft maintenance employees.
Attachment-A-AMFA-WestJet Complaint 12.11.23.pdf , Attachment-B-Swindall-Fuck-OMs[2].pdf , Attachment-C-Abbott-Swindall-11-13-23[2].pdf
November 10, 2023 -- We regret to report that the negotiating sessions were disappointing both in tone and substance. WestJet negotiators frequently relied on “industry standards” to justify the carrier’s proposals; however, when AMFA negotiators cited WestJet contracts with other employee groups as the basis for our proposals, the response was frequently dismissive or even derisive.
October 17, 2023 -- On August 28, 2023, a senior WestJet manager summoned an AME into a meeting to question him concerning “numerous complaints” that had been received regarding the AME’s alleged hesitancy to accept certain assignments. The Company made no arrangement for union representation.
October 6, 2023 -- On October 3 through 5, 2023, WestJet and AMFA representatives met in Toronto, ON to continue negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). At the first morning session, fourteen (14) WestJet AMEs stood directly behind the union negotiating team as AMFA reiterated its request that these members be permitted to attend bargaining sessions as silent observers.
September 9, 2023 -- On September 7, 2023, an initial collective bargaining session was held between WestJet and AMFA representatives in Calgary, AB. AMFA negotiators Evershed and Weizman spoke forcefully concerning the decline in WestJet’s culture, providing numerous examples, including furloughs out of seniority order, irregularities in pay scale, and work privileges that have been eliminated without notice or rationale.
August 15, 2023 -- AMFA National has called for a survey of WestJet Airlines (WJA) Skilled Trade Professionals. This survey is designed to help identify the group’s collective bargaining goals, direct the Negotiating Committee for the upcoming talks regarding your new collective bargaining agreement, and to determine the best method of communication for your group.
August 3, 2023 -- 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.
July 11, 2023 -- Votes for the AMFA-WJA Member-at-Large Negotiator Election were tallied on July 11, 2023. Votes for this election were counted and certified by ElectionBuddy, and the results are as follows...
June 20, 2023 -- In the coming weeks, the AMFA-WestJet (WJA) will have their first opportunity to exercise their right to vote as AMFA members.  Later this week, members in good standing will receive voting instructions to participate in an election to fill the position of Member-at-Large Negotiator.
What_is_a_Local_ALR.pdf , Who_is_on_my_Contract_Negotiating_Committee.pdf
May 30, 2023 -- WestJet has long treated its employees with impunity, altering policies, and dictating working conditions without fear of repercussions.  All that changes when the right union comes on board.
May 10, 2023 -- AMFA National is calling for nominations from the membership at WestJet to fill the positions of Airline Representative (ALR) and Member-at-Large Negotiator. The AMFA-WestJet ALR is the main point of contact for the membership at WestJet, oversees the enforcement of your status quo work rules, pay and benefits, and is a voting member of your Negotiating Committee.
20230510_AMFA-WJA_ALR_and_Mbr-at-Large_Negotiator_Call_for_Noms.pdf , What_is_an_ALR.pdf , Who_is_on_my_Contract_Negotiating_Committee.pdf
May 1, 2023 -- On April 28, 2023, AMFA received notice that WestJet had filed a Notice of Application for Judicial Review with the Canada Federal Court of Appeal. The Company intends to challenge the Canada Industrial Relations Board’s (“CIRB”) certification decision on the grounds that the decision is “unreasonable” and contrary to “principles of natural justice.”
April 25, 2023 -- AMFA National will be accepting contract proposals from May 15 through June 5, 2023, for the WestJet Negotiations commencing in the summer of this year.  Contract Proposal Forms can be downloaded on the WestJet page of the National Website.
AMFA-WJA_Contratct_Proposal_Form_2023.pdf
April 14, 2023 -- On behalf of the officers and representatives of AMFA, I would like to welcome you to the Association. This Digital New Member Package contains information regarding the next steps to establish membership with AMFA.
WestJet_Digital_New_Mbr_Welcome_Kit.pdf
April 6, 2023 -- 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.
March 31, 2023 -- On March 30, 2023, the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) granted AMFA’s application for certification as the bargaining agent at WestJet. AMFA could not be more excited to work with its newest members and advocate for your interests in raising the standards and elevating the craft/trade.
March 31, 2023 -- The Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) officially announced yesterday that WestJet Airlines Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs) and skilled trade groups chose the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) as their collective bargaining agent. And today, AMFA is proud to continue to lead a craft/trade-specific labor union movement in Canada, while also continuing to be a force at the negotiating table and the voice of our skilled professionals in the US.
March 1, 2023 -- On February 27, 2023, AMFA’s application to represent employees at WestJet cleared an initial procedural hurdle after an Industrial Relations Officer for the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (“CIRB") issued a report setting out the Union's and the Carrier’s respective positions. AMFA has applied to represent the following bargaining unit...
February 2, 2023 -- The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) is both inspired and stoked to announce AMFA has filed an application with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) seeking representation of the Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs) at WestJet Airlines, who are currently not unionized and are the last major employee workgroup at WestJet Airlines to do so.
January 27, 2023 -- I want to personally thank you for what you do and recognize your impact on our profession. Your dedication to prioritizing safety every time you touch an aircraft makes you critical to the success of any aviation maintenance operation.
November 21, 2022 -- The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) continues to expand its footprint in Canada as Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs) of WestJet are seeking union representation. Earlier this year, AMFA was first certified in Canada as the bargaining agent for L3 Harris MAS, and has now been requested to organize and represent the AMEs of WestJet, who are currently not unionized. “We look forward to filing an application with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) on behalf of the 640 WestJet AMEs in Canada,” said Bret Oestreich, AMFA National President.



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Page Last Updated: Jun 20, 2024 (13:25:00)
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AMFA
7853 E. Arapahoe Court, Suite 1100
Centennial, CO 80112
  303-752-2632

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