WestJet, Swoop pilots ratify new agreement with pay increases, other improvements

WestJet, Swoop ratify deal

WestJet and Swoop pilots have ratified a new collective agreement after a bargaining process that saw the threat of a strike snarl many Canadians' long weekend plans last month.

The Air Line Pilots Association says the four-year contract includes industry-leading pay increases, job security protections, and major scheduling and quality of life improvements.

The association says 87 per cent of the pilots who voted backed the agreement.

The airline and its pilots reached a last-minute deal earlier this year, narrowly averting a strike ahead of the May long weekend.

However, WestJet and Swoop flights had already been grounded in anticipation of the possible work stoppage, which was averted.

The pilots' association had said the contract issues revolved around pay, job security and scheduling, with pilots earning roughly half of what some of their U.S. counterparts make.

The new contract goes into effect July 1, with retroactive pay to Jan. 1. It expires at the end of 2026.

"Having this agreement in place will go a long way to solve many of the airline’s labour issues, and bring more stability to our operations," Bernard Lewall, who heads the Air Line Pilots Association's WestJet contingent, said in a news release.

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