WestJet pilots deal grants 24% pay raise over four years

WestJet pilots get 24% raise

WestJet pilots are poised to get a 24 per cent pay bump over four years under an agreement-in-principle between the company and the union.

A copy of the tentative agreement summary obtained by The Canadian Press states that pilots will receive a 15.5 per cent hourly pay raise this year retroactive to Jan. 1 upon ratification of the deal.

It also lays out a cumulative 8.5 per cent hike to their hourly wage over the remainder of the contract, from 2024 through 2026.

Bernard Lewall, who heads the Air Line Pilots Association's WestJet contingent, said last Friday after reaching a deal that the union achieved its main goals of better pay, job security and work-life balance.

Aviation expert Rick Erickson says the deal marks a new standard for labour negotiations in Canadian aviation, and could also make it tougher for budget airline competitors to retain pilots.

Bargaining came down to the wire last week, with WestJet cancelling more than 230 flights in preparation for job action before a deal was reached hours ahead of the strike deadline Friday morning.

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