WestJet’s new ultra low cost carrier Swoop hit some labour relations turbulence this week when the Airline Pilots Association applied to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board to stop WestJet management from allegedly negotiating directly with WestJet and Encore pilots about moving to Swoop. WestJet and Encore pilots voted last year to join ALPA but they still haven’t negotiated a first contract. The union says talking to pilots directly is “changing and ignoring well-established rules and policies.” WestJet did not comment to the Calgary Herald.
But the Herald sat in on a conference call with CEO Gregg Saretsky who told those on the call the airline is negotiating over a common seniority list for all three airlines. He also is reported to have said he would like WestJet and Encore pilots to earn promotions to work at the low cost airline. Swoop is scheduled to begin service with three aircraft in June.