|CIRB CERTIFIES AMFA AS COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGENT AT WESTJET|
|March 31, 2023|
Dear WestJet Aircraft Maintenance Engineers and Skilled Trade Groups:
On March 30, 2023, the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) granted AMFA’s application for certification as the bargaining agent at WestJet for a unit comprising of:
All employees of WestJet, an Alberta Partnership, integral to the coordination and performance of aircraft maintenance, including aircraft maintenance engineers (AME), apprentice AMEs, aircraft maintenance leads (AML), avionics technicians (AVT), apprentice AVTs, inspector crew leads (ICL), structures AMEs, apprentice structures AMEs, maintenance planners, day-of operations planners, technicians furnishing, apprentice technicians furnishing, maintenance controllers, senior specialists configuration control, fleet engineers, instructors technical, senior instructors technical, technical representatives and senior specialists technical services, excluding receiving inspectors, lead receiving inspectors, maintenance auditors, quality assurance auditors, GSE positions, management coordinators and positions above.
The Board confirmed that the unit “share
a community of interests in that the work performed is directed towards the repair, maintenance and trade certification of aircraft.” Responding to Company objections, the Board reaffirmed its exclusive power to shape and define bargaining units. The certified unit covers approximately 670 employees.
AMFA could not be more excited to work with its newest members and advocate for your interests in raising the standards and elevating the craft/trade. AMFA’s footprint in Canada continues to expand – it now represents AMEs and skilled trade groups in Canada at L3 Harris MAS and WestJet. The CIRB is currently seized with AMFA’s application to represent skilled maintenance employees at Air Canada. Employee groups at other major Canadian airlines have expressed interest in AMFA representation as being a craft/trade-specific, independent aviation union.
|PRESS RELEASE: AMFA WELCOMES WESTJET AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE ENGINEERS AND SKILLED TRADE GROUPS|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
AMFA WELCOMES WESTJET AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE ENGINEERS AND SKILLED TRADE GROUPS
|Bret Oestreich, National President|
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.