WestJet strike over as mechanics union and airline reach tentative agreement

WestJet says the strike that affected tens of thousands of travellers during the long weekend is now over after an agreement with the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) was made late on Sunday.

“The damage to Canadians and our airline is massive, a swift resolution was necessary. We take no victory laps on this outcome but will sleep better tonight knowing further harm has been prevented,” said WestJet president Diederik Pen in a statement. “We will see no further labour action coming out of this dispute, as both parties agree to arbitrate the contract in the case of a failed ratification.”   

The union said the deal provided substantial improvements over both their current terms of employment and the terms outlined in the first tentative agreement that was rejected by its roughly 680 members.

“Your presence in bargaining sessions and on picket lines had a meaningful impact on the end result of this journey,” the AMFA-WestJet Negotiating Committee wrote to its members in a statement obtained by CBC News.

In an email update to CBC News earlier on Sunday, WestJet said 832 flights had been cancelled and an estimated 100,000 passengers were affected by the strike over the weekend.

More to come.