CALGARY — The union representing WestJet pilots says they have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate.
The Air Line Pilots Association says the 1,600 WestJet pilots it represents can launch a strike as early as the week leading up to the May long weekend, which typically kicks off the summer travel season for thousands of Canadians whose plans could now be upended.
Bernard Lewall, who heads the union's WestJet contingent, says the workers' issues revolve around job protection, pay and scheduling at the airline and its discount subsidiary Swoop.
He says 95 per cent of pilots voted, with 93 per cent of them in favour of the strike mandate.
WestJet said last month the threat of a strike is a common tactic in negotiations.
Talks continue through the federal conciliation process, which will end April 24 followed by a three-week break, unless the parties agree to extend negotiations.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 18, 2023.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly included a division of WestJet that is not involved in the strike vote.