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May 12, 2017

WestJet pilots vote to form their first union

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CALGARY -- The Air Line Pilots Association, International says more than 1,400 WestJet pilots have voted 62 per cent in favour of forming the first union at Canada's second-largest airline.

The ALPA says that once the results are certified by the Canada Industrial Relations Board, it will be the exclusive bargaining agent for WestJet pilots.

WestJet chief executive Gregg Saretsky said in a statement that the airline (WJA.TO) is disappointed with the outcome of the vote, but will now focus on engaging in constructive dialogue with the ALPA.

The airline has long opposed unionization and has seen several union votes fail over the years, including a pilot vote in 2015.

Rob McFadyen, a member of the WestJet ALPA Organizing Committee, stated that the vote was about ensuring support in issues like health, retirement, fatigue, safety, family support and legal protection.

Pilots at WestJet have so far been represented by the internal company WestJet Pilots' Association.