FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|Bret Oestreich, National President
AMFA WELCOMES WESTJET AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE ENGINEERS AND SKILLED TRADE GROUPS
CENTENNIAL, Colo. – 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 United States. The North American wage comparison data in Canada for AMEs and Related professionals has been suppressed for too long.
On January 31, 2023, the AMEs and Related at WestJet Airlines submitted signed authorization for representation cards from nearly 74% of its workgroup to AMFA, requesting that they file for a representation election with the CIRB on behalf of their workgroup.
“This is a critical time for these talented professionals to be represented by a craft-specific union that has extensive success and proven experience related to merger protections and provisions for securing work rules through collective bargaining for seniority integration, transition agreement, and single carrier status,” said Bret Oestreich, AMFA National President. “We are honored to give these professionals a voice as stakeholders and to help them take control of their own destiny through democratic representation.”
“AMFA is the first and only craft-specific union to represent this skilled trade workgroup. The grassroots organizing committee started this union campaign, and today’s outcome was the culmination and affirmation of their dedication and hard work,” said Oestreich.
Prior to today’s announcement, WestJet Airlines skilled aviation trade groups were the last non-union major employee workgroup at the airline since its founding in 1994.
WestJet Airlines Ltd. is the second-largest Canadian airline, behind Air Canada, operating an average of 777 flights and carrying more than 66,130 passengers per day. WestJet is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, near Calgary International Airport. In 2018, WestJet carried 25.49 million passengers, making it the ninth-largest airline in North America by passengers carried.
As of March 2023, WestJet’s merger with Sunwing Airlines has been approved by Canada’s transportation minister.
The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association is a craft oriented, independent aviation union. AMFA represents licensed and unlicensed technicians and related employees actively involved in the aviation industry. These technicians and related employees work directly on aircraft and/or components, support equipment, and facilities. AMFA is committed to elevating the professional standing of technicians and to achieving progressive improvements in wages, benefits, and working conditions of the skilled folks it represents. For more information about AMFA visit www.amfanational.org.