(Calgary) The union representing WestJet pilots says they voted overwhelmingly for a strike mandate.
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said on Tuesday that the 1,600 WestJet pilots it represents could go on strike as early as the week leading up to the May long weekend, which usually marks the start of the summer travel season for thousands of Canadians.
Bernard Lewall, who leads the union’s pilot contingent, says the issues raised by his members are job security, pay and schedules at the carrier, as well as at his low-cost airline Swoop.
According to him, 95% of the pilots participated in the vote, and 93% of them said they were in favor of the strike mandate.
WestJet argued last month that the threat of a strike was a common tactic in negotiations.
Negotiations are continuing under a federal conciliation process, which will end on April 24 and be followed by a three-week recess, unless the parties agree to extend talks.