WestJet has stated it has received the award of the arbitrator, Mr. William Kaplan, in the interest arbitration between WestJet, Swoop and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).
The arbitrator’s award, which is binding on all parties, follows mediated negotiations and formal arbitration hearings that have taken place since May 2018. The award sets the terms for the first collective agreement including all outstanding terms and conditions of employment for pilots at WestJet and Swoop.
“Today’s award provides WestJet the ability to grow, operate a sustainable business and to compete effectively in the current operating environment,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “The conclusion of this first agreement allows us to now turn our attention to the arrival of WestJet’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner and our transition to a global network carrier. I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with our pilots as we deliver on our global future.”
ALPA represents approximately 1,600 WestJet and Swoop pilots not including WestJet Encore. WestJet Encore pilots are represented by ALPA in a separate bargaining unit, which is currently engaged in collective bargaining with the company.
WestJet will meet with ALPA leadership in early January 2019 to review the terms of the award and work towards finalizing the collective agreement. Due to the scope and complexity of the work required, the airline will not provide further comment at this time. WestJet remains committed to working directly with the pilots’ representation. The details of the collective agreement will be communicated when finalized.
In other news, WestJet on December 21 set a new record for guests flown in a single day for the fourth time this year. The group, including WestJet, WestJet Encore, Swoop and WestJet Link flew 82,618 guests, surpassing the previous record of 80,219 guests set on August 7, 2018.