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WestJet says it has reached a deal with striking mechanics, ending strike

Click to play video: 'Deal reached in WestJet mechanics strike, passengers still stranded'
Deal reached in WestJet mechanics strike, passengers still stranded
WATCH: Deal reached in WestJet mechanics strike, passengers still stranded – Jul 1, 2024

WestJet said they have reached a tentative deal with striking mechanics as of late Sunday evening, the airline said in a statement.

The airline said that the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) has withdrawn their strike action and their members will return to work as scheduled to restore the network.

According to the statement, talks resumed on Sunday morning despite a stalemate.

Diederik Pen, WestJet Airlines president and group Chief Operating Officer, said “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.”

Click to play video: 'WestJet strike impacts more local flights'
WestJet strike impacts more local flights

Pen said “a swift resolution was necessary” to avoid further disruption to the airline.

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On Friday, the AMFA announced that their members were going on strike because the airline’s “unwillingness to negotiate with the union made the strike inevitable.”

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The move came after the federal government issued a ministerial order for binding arbitration Thursday, and two weeks of turbulent discussions with the union on a new deal. Union sought a new collective agreement that includes higher wages and benefits.

In response to the strike, WestJet cancelled more than 800 flights over the weekend.

The company said it was “forced to park 130 aircraft at 13 airports across Canada, in response to the strike”.

While WestJet said in Sunday night’s statement that it was going to begin work to restore operations in a safe and timely manner”, it added that returning to business-as-usual flying will take time and further disruptions over the coming weeks.

 

— with files Global’s Aaron Sousa

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