Canadian airline giant, WestJet and their pilots have agreed to a mediated settlement process after the pilots voted 91% in favour of striking.
According to a joint media release by WestJet and Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), both parties will be subject to final and binding arbitration, if necessary.
The settlement process is a culmination of about 8 months of negotiations with the airline to give WestJet pilots their first ever contract.
The demands for a contract arose after the company announced its intentions to outsource jobs in order to maintain the low costs promised for their new carrier, Swoop.
As a result of the settlement, WestJet is expected to draw up their first contract by June, and guarantees that pilots who fly Swoop will be covered under the same contract as their WestJet mainline counterparts.
The airline confirmed that after the pilots’ union voted almost unanimously in favour of commencing job action on May 10th, the company was faced with lower sales while tackling rising fuel costs and attempting to launch a new low cost airline at the same time.
WestJet pilots are also seeking wage parity with pilots at the company’s largest competitor, Air Canada.