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Westjet Cancels 150 Flights Amid Mechanics Strike During Busy Long Weekend

Toronto, June 29: WestJet, Canada’s second-largest airline, has cancelled over 150 flights affecting approximately 20,000 passengers starting Saturday, following a strike by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA). The union initiated the strike on Friday evening, citing WestJet’s perceived unwillingness to engage in meaningful negotiations.

The strike commenced despite the federal government’s intervention with a ministerial order for binding arbitration issued on Thursday, following turbulent discussions over a new labor agreement. Initially, WestJet had anticipated no strike or lockout based on the union’s commitment to abide by the arbitration directive.

The unexpected strike has disrupted both international and domestic flights, coinciding with the Canada Day long weekend. WestJet, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, expressed strong displeasure, holding the union fully accountable for the disruption, stress, and associated costs incurred.

In response, the union’s negotiating committee referenced a Canada Industrial Relations Board order that did not explicitly prohibit strikes or lockouts during the arbitration process. The situation continues to unfold amid ongoing efforts to mitigate the impact on travelers and resolve the labor dispute.

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