Westjet Pilots Reject Tentative Agreement


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Be thankful you're not being bribed with new airplanes. Judging by the attitude of management though, that is surely coming. IF YOU BOYS WANT BIG AIRPLANES YOU PLAY NICE WITH US. Embarrassing part is it works every time.

That's what happens when one opens the personal "Greed" valve. :glare:

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Gee Parakeet.... You read funny. What I've read from all WJ contributors in this thread has been an honest and civil exchange of opinion. Which is exactly what the forum is for. I've been quite impres

"dr1, I can't believe a person in your position is on this public forum. Basically calling out the pilots on their collective (democratic) decision to reject this TA. Your arrogance is unmatched. Your

This will really be my last word on the subject. Parakeet, I used to go on the WJPA forum occasionally, mostly to address technical questions or procedural stuff that came up. A few years ago I tried

What DR1 isn't saying is that all the pilots wanted was status quo on the pay, status quo on the days worked, and 2% COLA, and some form of realistic YOS for FOs looking at 10 - 12 years to upgrade. None of that was addressed - we voted no. Very simple.

Sure, sounds very reasonable to me. Actually, as an AC pilot, I was hoping that the Westjet pilots would get a good solid raise. We were unable to do it due to the machinations of the corporation and the government but if you guys could pull it off then we'd have a better chance if and when we ever get another chance to negotiate. Unfortunately Westjet management wants concessions; times are tough, RASMs are falling, CASMs are rising, etc, etc. The Rouge plan that hurts the AC pilots is now going to hurt the Westjet pilots followed by the Transat guys. Westjet's Encore plan will hurt the Jazz guys and the Skyregional pilots. Round and round it goes. And who wins? The passenger/guest/customer gets lower ticket prices. Makes me crazy when I meet a passenger or non-airline friend or relative who's complaining about how expensive it is to fly - it's never been cheaper (in inflation adjusted dollars).

I urge the Westjet guys to hold the line for the good of all of us. Dig in your heals and fight for that few percent - then maybe the rest of us stand a chance of returning the favour some day.

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DR1 said:

So show me in all that where the pilots are concerned about the interests of the company and it's long term success because that is at the foundation of what we built this company on.

Your right Dave, you and others help build this company up on those foundations. Everyone in the same boat rowing together. Do you think that's still the case today or are we merely sweating the assets?

The pilots demonstrated their commitment to those ideals with the continued Wet lease, Encore and Base implementation. They continue to demonstrate it daily in all facets of our job. All for the greater good right. Can you show me where WJ reciprocated that goodwill?

The interests of the company are much more than the earnings per share. They are the investments we make daily towards each other that make this company and it's culture so great. I don't feel we were asking for the moon considering our current environment. Status quo that's all. If and when the sky starts falling we would dig in and help, we have in the past, what makes you so sure we wouldn't going forward?

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Sums it up nicely Seeker, everyone outside of Westjet knew this day was inevitable. I had the opportunity to have a long talk with an "original equipment" Westjet buddy. Nothing good to say and can't wait to GET OUT.

Sounds familiar!

Your Airline is maturing, the "love-in" is over. Best wishes to all you Westjetters, hope you do better than we did.

Have you been told you are nothing more than a "Cost Unit?"

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Gee Dave of all the people I have respect for on the 2d floor I thought you'd see a little clearer than " basically giving the pilots everything they want" . Just to start, min hrs down to 75, ot trigger moved up to 85 16 days in 30, vague crewsked rules, not to mention all the extra things we do for no credit that others don't, but that's ok its what I signed up for, one of the things that make us unique.

As you know the big money has already been made at WJ unless you're an exec, so the rest of us will have to fight over the scraps. It's a 3Billion + corporate machine now, controlled by people who will profit by paying you and I less.

And for the record I voted yes, because I too am a company man but this TA was/is showing a trend of race to the bottom.

Perhaps you'd join some of us on a 5 day pairing over Christmas for less than 20 hrs credit. Wonder why we dont want to work an extra day/ month for free . Please from Len on down prove me wrong and let me see you guys working multi day pairings through Christmas for low credit!

Here we are now airing our dirty laundry on a public forum just like we used to mock AC for, weird . I hope Daggers happy.

thinair,

Min hrs down to 75 but you will still be paid out to bring you up to 77.5 - if you actually ever get blocked to only 75 which is extremely unlikely as we need about 78.5 per month to cover the sked. "Vague crew scheduling rules" - I have no idea how to address that. The "16 days in 30" is the one I really don't get - which is also Duster's complaint that all the pilots wanted was status quo on days worked. Right now we schedule 16 days per calendar month, except February where we have always evened things out - 16 x 12 = 192/year. We have a real crewing problem during some peak months so how do we fix it? We could hire pilots and then lay them off after the peaks but that doesn't work for anyone. Len's solution of 12 blocking windows of 30 or 31 days smooths out the peaks and valleys just enough and it's elegantly in its simplicity. Still 16 days per blocking window so 12 x 16 still equals 192. I don't know how to do that math to come up with an"extra day".

Nobody wants to work over Christmas but it is the nature of our business and we all knew that coming in. The beauty of our system is if you don't want to next year, you won't have to. But don't worry, just because I won't be doing a five day pairing I will still be dealing with the day to day stuff that happens 365 days a year and when crew sked are done cold calling to cover sick calls and they strike out, they will call me and I will go flying.

Duster, you stated "What DR1 isn't saying is that all the pilots wanted was status quo on the pay, status quo on the days worked, and 2% COLA, and some form of realistic YOS for FOs looking at 10 - 12 years to upgrade. None of that was addressed - we voted no. Very simple."

Nobody took a pay cut, nobody is going to have to work extra days, they just might be spread out slightly differently. A 5% lump sum was offered this year to more than cover COLA and it reverts to 2% compounding the last couple of years of the agreement and YOS was addressed, just maybe not to your satisfaction. You are right, making demands is very simple. What is not so simple is, is the solution sustainable?

At the end of the day I could take a very cavalier attitude towards all of this as I only have a couple of years left before I ride off into the sunset. But I'm not because I still care very passionately about this company. What happens now won't have any affect on the rest of my life, you guys are the ones who will have to live with it.

Now I will leave the last word to you. The level of animosity out there is extremely distressing to me and I should have stayed away from this as I know it is a no win situation.

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Now I will leave the last word to you. The level of animosity out there is extremely distressing to me and I should have stayed away from this as I know it is a no win situation.

Dave, I don't know you and I'm not a Westjet pilot so maybe it's not for me to comment but you see animosity here the same way AC management saw animosity from their pilots. There's no animosity it's just that the Westjet pilots don't see their contribution to the whole as being valued correctly - the same way the AC pilots didn't see their contribution being valued.

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Dave, you and I debating each other's perspective on the proposed agreement is likely not going to solve much, and on a public forum, probably not all that appropriate. Personnally, I have no animosity toward our pilots that do not share my views, or corporate management for that matter. They are doing what they are paid to do - increase revenue and reduce costs, and have done some great things for the company. Of the few times I have spoken with Gregg I have found him to be very pleasant and extremely sharp.

I agree with you - I hate to see people taking this too personally - this is a disgreement about the percieved value of a specific employee group. Please do not mistake disagreement for disloyalty or lack of committment to the success of WestJet. We can negotiate through this - it AIN'T personal.

Cheers,

Clive S

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We have a real crewing problem during some peak months so how do we fix it? We could hire pilots and then lay them off after the peaks but that doesn't work for anyone. Len's solution of 12 blocking windows of 30 or 31 days smooths out the peaks and valleys just enough and it's elegantly in its simplicity. Still 16 days per blocking window so 12 x 16 still equals 192. I don't know how to do that math to come up with an"extra day".

Think outside the box. Not everyone is the same. There are people who want to scoop up as much flying as possible and those that want as little as possible but still maximize pay. Others just want part time and don't care that much. maybe they are closer to retirement.

Try thinking about the layoff thing like Sunwing does but only for volunteers. Maybe volunteers for part-time flying but at a significantly reduced payscale that actually benefits the company but only for volunteers. No one forced to do so. There may not be enough volunteers to fully accomplish the goal but there might be a few that would be quite happy to do so which could help out. Having the same rules for everyone will never keep everyone happy.

After that try coming up with another idea. That is the WJ way, or Westjettie or give me a "W"....type of mentality.

Just thoughts, maybe it could somehow work in some sort of way when tossed back and forth over a few beers, or negotiations.

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dr1 said

"Nobody wants to work over Christmas but it is the nature of our business and we all knew that coming in. The beauty of our system is if you don't want to next year, you won't have to. But don't worry, just because I won't be doing a five day pairing I will still be dealing with the day to day stuff that happens 365 days a year and when crew sked are done cold calling to cover sick calls and they strike out, they will call me and I will go flying."

dr1

Please accept my apologies , I was out of line to make this personal, I realize you guys put in a lot of hours, and I would not want your job, or the traffic problems, or calls at home. You guys are doing a fantastic job and yes this is still one of the best jobs in the country. We would like to keep it that way as well, I would be hard pressed to find any pilot say otherwise.

As far as the other stuff goes I guess it depends on who's calculator you use. I think the perception out there is that we are being nickled and dimed, and that contractual language is open to interpretation, I really don't know, but I do know that everyone that I work with want a longterm successful company.

Take care

thinair

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dr1, I can't believe a person in your position is on this public forum. Basically calling out the pilots on their collective (democratic) decision to reject this TA. Your arrogance is unmatched. Your actions will only fuel this situation. You should be ashamed, and held accountable for your actions. It won't go unnoticed, I promise.

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I would love to uncloak myself, but he is management and represents management on here. Your entitled to your "salt of the earth" opinion, my opinion has been formed over a long period of time and witnessed experience. I stand by my words. I understand he feels frustration, but this is not the place for management to vent their views.

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I would love to uncloak myself, but he is management and represents management on here.

If you want to imagine he's speaking for anyone other than himself, I guess that might explain your POV. ... but I'd still wonder what on earth you'd be thinking he can't say here, and why?

In any case.... re: "I stand by my words." Hmmm? ... it sure appears to me that you don't. I think you'd have to sign your real name to do that.

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This will really be my last word on the subject.

Parakeet,

I used to go on the WJPA forum occasionally, mostly to address technical questions or procedural stuff that came up. A few years ago I tried to log on and couldn’t get access, when I enquired about it I was told that it had been decided “management” pilots couldn’t have access (openness and transparency is a two way street BTW). So this is the only avenue I have left. You don’t like what I have to say? That’s okay, I still stand behind my words.

toga, geez :red_smile:

DUSTER, thinair and all those of you who have PM’d me, thanks for your sentiments. You guys give me hope. These last couple of days have been the lowest in all my years at WestJet. The results of the vote were released on Friday which, in some kind of twisted irony was also Profit Sharing Day and I did my usual 05:00 – 08:00 shift at the crew room handing out cheques. This is one of my favourite duties because everyone is always happy and pumped, even though it’s only 5:00 am. This year there was a notably subdued vibe and only 3 pilots showed up to get their cheques. I talked to one of the guys who handed out cheques at the party and he said only about 30 pilots showed up there. I also heard from one pilot who didn’t go to the party, he said he didn’t go because he “didn’t want to be around pilots right now”.

That stuff is like a stab to the heart for me. We are different, at least we were and I’ll be damned if I will sit idly by while Seeker rubs his hands together and says “see, I told you so. You guys are no different”. :icon_butt::dueling:

I have been accused of being out of touch. That is undoubtedly true. The geeky, tech world I live in is far removed from line flying and the level of discontent that has become apparent over the last few weeks caught me completely by surprise. All these things have conspired to make this a really crappy weekend for me, so here I am, voicing my concerns not as “management” but as a pilot and owner. I won’t apologize for that.

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DR1, I don't know who Parakeet is and I don't care. I do care and appreciate however that you took the time to express yourself. My only wish is you will continue to do so despite those who choose to attack the person rather than the message!

I respect the work you and others have put into this company and sympathize how frustrating and disappointed you must feel. I hope you can appreciate how others less fortunate than you also feel. As I mentioned in my last post, the pilots at WJ have demonstrated the foundations of cooperation we were built on. Lately it seems we feel that this has not been reciprocated. Personally, in our current environment I found it hard to accept a lesser agreement than our current one.

I also think this could have all been mitigated if not avoided had the WJPA and by extension their leaders done another survey to engage the pilot group.

Respectfully,

BH

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We are different, at least we were and I’ll be damned if I will sit idly by while Seeker rubs his hands together and says “see, I told you so. You guys are no different”.

Hold on. I am not gleefully rubbing my hands together. I want the Westjet pilots to get a raise and improve their contract. I want this because I understand that one of the best ways for me, and all pilots in Canada, to improve their lot is for wages and working conditions to ratchet up at another carrier. If you think I take pleasure in discord at Westjet you are mis-reading my post (or more likely I didn't express myself clearly).

Now, as for the "you're no different" comment, what I meant by that was that no-one gets to avoid the commercial pressures and business principles that govern the airline industry indefinitely. The die was cast when the first (and maybe present) pay scales at Westjet were calculated as a percentage of industry average. Wages have fallen at AC (or stagnated, depending on how you look at it) and so the pressure to "control costs" at Westjet increases. If and when the Jazz guys take at hit to their pay what will be the effect at Encore - their pay is also calculated as a percentage of industry average isn't it? Isn't this the same thing that is happening at Southwest? All the legacy carriers have restructured and cut their costs and suddenly Southwest isn't doing so well, surprise, surprise.

It's actually taken a lot longer than I expected for this evolution to happen than I anticipated all those years ago so that's good news. I encourage the Westjet pilots to do what they can to improve their pay and working conditions with due regard to maintaining the culture but my personal opinion is that Westjet management pushed a little too hard on the Encore startup and that there are some hard feelings. Perhaps the impact of the slowing upgrade times has been under appreciated?

In any case, like the others above I hope that you will continue to post here - your participation adds substance and value to the discussion.

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There is no Pilot in this Country sitting "rubbing their hands together," this is another sad turn for the Profession.

It is funny how quickly the Desk Jockeys forget where they came from. Happier talking about flying, than actually doing the work.

Too bad it takes a massive "Line of Credit" to survive the first five years as an Airline Pilot in this Country. Sadly we have Pilots that are okay with that!

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I guess I’m not done.

Seeker,

I guess I should have added one of these :P or these :whistling: too, obviously I don’t think you are rubbing your hands together in glee. I was trading on some of our previous duels and it was a lame attempt at humour that obviously missed the mark. My sincere apologies if I have offended.

Bonhomme,

I think I understand very well how those “less fortunate” than me feel and I genuinely believe I am looking out for their future. I am not just looking at these next five years, I’m looking 5 or ten years beyond that. We are facing some really significant challenges. We are going to need everyone pulling in the same direction to meet those challenges and we will most certainly need a strong bottom line. As I stated previously, I won’t be here. My time at WestJet has been a truly remarkable experience and I want everyone who is still here when I leave to have a great career as well.

Seeker may very well be right about issues with Encore or bases or 1 in 50… I have heard other similar comments. If that is the case and people voted no because they are frustrated that would be unfortunate. The vote was solely about working conditions for the next 5 years and those other things won’t change because of the vote. But with the no vote the time and energy and resources that could go into resolving some of those issues - and preparing us for those coming challenges - will have to go back into renegotiating.

If people voted no because they truly couldn't live with the proposal then so be it and I respect that decision. I just hope they didn't vote no because of phantom extra days or some other misconception.

We really need to look beyond the horizon.

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