Those flying either WestJet or Swoop later this week might have to make alternative plans.
WestJet have issued a lockout notice to the airline’s pilots after their union issued a 72-hour strike notice.
Earlier this evening, Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), the union representing approximately 1,600 flight crew members at WestJet and its subsidiary Swoop, issued a 72-hour strike notice to WestJet management and the government.
WestJet management has responded to the strike notice by issuing a lockout notice to its pilots which will prevent from working once the strike notice period expires.
The lockout notice comes amidst negotiations between the airline and the pilots’ union, which have been ongoing for the past nine months.
This development intensifies the ongoing labour dispute between WestJet and its pilots, raising concerns about potential disruptions to flight operations.
A work stoppage could occur as early as Friday, May 19th.
“The decision to issue a lockout notice, in response to the actions taken by the union today, was not one that was made lightly, and we sincerely regret the inconvenience and uncertainty this continues to cause for our guests,” said Alexis von Hoensbroech, WestJet Group, Chief Executive Officer.
“It is our responsibility to ensure the safety and complete control of our network at all times, to minimize the risk of stranding our guests, our crews and our aircraft.”
Both groups have said they will continue to work around the clock to come to an agreement.
As of now, pilots plan to begin lawful job action this Friday, May 19th, which could include grounding all aircraft and effectively shutting down operations right before the May long weekend.