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WestJet and unionized mechanics agree to resume talks; strike action is off the table

The threat of strike action by unionized mechanics at WestJet has been dropped after both sides agreed to return to the bargaining table.

An overnight statement says the air carrier appeared before the Canadian Industrial Relations Board to discuss arbitration options with its Aircraft Maintenance Engineers and Tech Ops employees.

CIRB officials say more information is needed from both sides before deciding whether arbitration is the best way to reach a first-time collective bargaining agreement.

In the meantime, both parties have jointly agreed to return to the bargaining table and continue working towards a resolution.

Union members voted overwhelmingly to reject a tentative deal last week and voiced opposition to the airline’s request for arbitration.

The WestJet Group had announced the cancellation of more than 30 flights that were scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in anticipation of Thursday evening’s possible strike by its 670 aircraft maintenance workers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 20, 2024.

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