The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association ( AMFA ) accused WestJet Airlines ( WJA ) of unfair labor practices on December 11, 2023, before the Canada Industrial Relations Board ( CIRB ).
This affair resembles one that occurred on American Airlines in 2015, and an eTurboNews content questioned whether the airline was actually healthy.
The airline’s Aircraft Maintenance Engineers ( AMEs ) and all other qualified aircraft maintenance personnel were represented by the CIRB-certified AMFA on March 30, 2023.
The dispute relates to WestJet’s unilateral creation of the new Operations Manager ( OM) position and the transfer of safety-sensitive maintenance coordination work previously carried out by bargaining unit members to that position.
Former Aircraft Maintenance Leads ( AMLs ) who were a part of the CIRB-certified bargaining unit have largely filled the open OM positions.
According to AMFA allegations, WestJet’s actions” caused chaos within servicing operations and hostility among co-workers whose included efforts are essential to maintenance safety culture.”
The destructive effects of the bank’s steps have been acknowledged by WestJet managers. Senior Manager of Labour Relations at WestJet, Virginia Swindall, requested AMFA’s fast “intervention in de-escalating” a” critical and emerging issue” regarding its Toronto upkeep activities in an email dated November 10.
A Toronto AME was “passionately advising our people to” Hell the OMs,” according to Line Maintenance Darren Cook, boss of WestJet.
AMFA Region II Director Will Abbott told WestJet in a letter dated November 13 that the organization’s activities had” sown discord within the office with AMEs perceiving former AMLs who have accepted OM roles as scabs whom they have betrayed the negotiations unit and cut off from economic opportunities.”
” Profession and mutual respect are necessary for the healthy performance of airplane maintenance.”
Bret Oestreich, leader of the AMFA
” The firm’s actions have caused feeling and animosity within its preservation operations, by its own entrance.” Because they felt disrespected by the provider and disregarded the AME’s crucial efforts as a customer in WestJet businesses, aircraft repair professionals there organized their union.
WestJet appears to be carefully rubbing water into the scar right now.
Oestreich continued,” We have seen a troubling decline in cause oversight of maintenance operations at various stations. This is due to the fact that repair staffing at some stations continues to be below pre-COVID levels despite a rise in flight volumepost-COPID. WestJet aircraft maintenance is moving in a way that is n’t conducive to safe operations.
According to Samuel Seham, an AMFA attorney,” the law prohibits unilateral changes of position quo working problems without previous negotiations with the union once the CIRB has certified a federation.” This is especially true when it comes to the loss of financial opportunities caused by the exchange of job outside the bargaining unit.
To the extent that conflict currently erupts within the firm’s maintenance operations, I attribute it to what I believe to be illegal behavior on the part of WestJet. For the benefit of our members and aircraft security, we have started this CIRB action.
What caused this circumstance to arise?
It got worse when Virginia Swindall, the senior senior manager of labor relations for Westjet, sent an email to the union representative at work who is fervently advising employees to Fuck the OM ( operation managers ), asking her to understand a serious and emerging concern at Toronto International Airport.
She asked for an immediate action to de-escalate this situation, stating that while the Company may instruct the two on-duty OMs on how to handle it, she prefers that the union take part.
The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association ( AMFA )’s Wilber” Will” Abbott responded:
The background relates to WestJet’s derogatory and labor-code violations of the Canada Industrial Relations Board ( CIRB ) and the bargaining unit. I will briefly address the matter here because it has already been addressed in previous letter between AMFA officials and legal guidance. Is Westjet Truly Safe or Simply Unfair?SOURCE