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Westjet pilots strike vote


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This has already been to the Supreme Court.

A man was hired for a position on a project that didn't really exist, relocated from Calgary to Ottawa and was subsequently terminated, he sued and won.

I know two people who have been down this road.

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I'm only guessing but I would think all the "new-hires" will be kept at the bottom of the list and will now be designated FO's and "senior " FOs already in WJ  could bid to be Captains and fly in any organization within the WJ family.

The only sticking point would be if any "non WJ pilots" were hired as Captains for SWOOP, prior to going to mediation, would have the right to launch a law-suit...or stay as FOs....

Anyone know how many "non WJ " Capts and FOs were being hired for SWOOP???

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So now it’s one seniority list with different pay scales depending on how you were hired? The newly PPC’d Swoop Captains and their CP aren’t getting a payraise to match their WS brothers and sisters? 

Edited by blues deville
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3 hours ago, blues deville said:

So now it’s one seniority list with different pay scales depending on how you were hired? The newly PPC’d Swoop Captains and their CP aren’t getting a payraise to match their WS brothers and sisters? 

I guess that all depends upon the arbitration.

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In that case I would expect them to sue for being hired away from their previous employment under false pretenses.

I know two people who have been in this position. One was hired for a position that simply didn't exist and the other was fired after a couple of months because new leadership wanted a francophone in their position.

Both walked away with a lot of money.

Edited by Super 80
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4 hours ago, Super 80 said:

In that case I would expect them to sue for being hired away from their previous employment under false pretenses.

I know two people who have been in this position. One was hired for a position that simply didn't exist and the other was fired after a couple of months because new leadership wanted a francophone in their position.

Both walked away with a lot of money.

WestJet sounds all messed up. Will they push ahead with Swoop now our back away and end up offering Swoop fares on select flights. I can’t see them making money with Swoop. Canadian public want cheep but don’t like paying for extras like a carry on bag or if they charge to print a boarding pass 

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The business model for Swoop is sound and looking at the big picture it does make sense to protect the rear from other ULCC new entrants and also respond to Rouge while forging ahead with big expansions with the B787s where literally sky is the limit opening new markets into Europe, Far East and South America and creating new opportunities and growth everywhere. The problem has been how to keep everyone focused on the big picture as opposed to worrying about little details. Naturally, Air Canada has not been very keen on having an emerging large international airline, much less one that is profitable and can really succeed. The challenge is to keep the cohorts understand and support the greater plan....

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1 hour ago, MD2 said:

The business model for Swoop is sound and looking at the big picture it does make sense to protect the rear from other ULCC new entrants and also respond to Rouge while forging ahead with big expansions with the B787s where literally sky is the limit opening new markets into Europe, Far East and South America and creating new opportunities and growth everywhere. The problem has been how to keep everyone focused on the big picture as opposed to worrying about little details. Naturally, Air Canada has not been very keen on having an emerging large international airline, much less one that is profitable and can really succeed. The challenge is to keep the cohorts understand and support the greater plan....

Air Canada has faced large international airlines throughout its existence, covering the spectrum from charters to premium (or at least airlines that styled themselves as premium). WS, positioning itself as a full-service carrier is no greater threat in that regard. If there is a concern for AC and WS, it's over the new wave of ULCC international operators like Norwegian, although it remains to be seen if the concept is sustainable.

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"The business model for Swoop is sound and looking at the big picture it does make sense to protect the rear from other ULCC new entrants and also respond to Rouge"

The business model seems to have been crafted by persons that did not properly appreciate the insult Swoop represents to a mainline WJ pilot's career progression and wawcon.

And as brilliant a management strategy as Rouge was, when the over 60 pilots finally retire and or growth comes to a stop, there will be family labour difficulties over there too.

Edited by DEFCON
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12 hours ago, DEFCON said:

The business model seems to have been crafted by persons that did not properly appreciate the insult Swoop represents to a mainline WJ pilot's career progression and wawcon.

The main objective of an airline is not to present a career progression for any employee group pilots or otherwise, rather to provide a service at a return for stakeholders. And the priority shifts from the former to the latter based on how socialist or capitalist the system is. 

The other factor is that at its birth and by design it seemed that WestJet pilots were paid under industry wages, and in return they were vested into the success of the company by shares and profit sharing, rather generous ones too. It would be unreasonable to expect to hold onto those and also be paid industry wages. One has to look at the whole compensation or as Westjetters liked to point out, T4 pay....WestJet folks, especially pilots used to be very stock savvy, with time they are becoming more "traditional" group and therefore their compensation may have to change. Imo that would be to their and their company's disadvantage since employees that are included and involved in their company's performance usually perform better and their company does better too. At the end of the day, a company has to make money in order to pay more and survive. Just being really good at something is not enough, case in point Canadian Airlines, great company, great culture, great staff, but not very good at turning a profit!

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.

Shut down WestJet? An inside look at the airline's negotiations with pilots

New details emerge as unionized pilots try to secure their first contract

Tue May 29, 2018 - CBC News
by Kyle Bakx

Negotiations between WestJet and unionized pilots neared crisis last week as negotiators for the airline threatened to lock out pilots and shut down the company. That's when the chief federal mediator and the federal labour minister boarded planes to intervene as heated contract talks reached a boiling point.

Those are just some of the details CBC News has learned from internal documents and interviews about the tense negotiations that — if they'd fallen apart — could have grounded flights and stranded passengers.

CBC News has also learned what issues remain unresolved and about the potential impact that the first union contract is expected to have on the airline.

Lockout threat

The two sides had held talks for nine months, but negotiations picked up in recent weeks after 150 pilots held a demonstration at WestJet's Calgary headquarters during the company's annual meeting. Two days later, pilots voted overwhelmingly to give their union, the Air Line Pilots Association, a strike mandate.

According to an internal union document obtained by CBC News, WestJet negotiators suggested the airline could lay off a large number of pilots and lock out the remaining unionized pilots.

Avoiding job action

Labour Minister Patty Hajdu arrived in Calgary on Thursday to meet with company and union officials. Her involvement, along with that of a federal negotiator, seemed to work. The two sides signed off on an agreement process on Friday evening — thereby avoiding any work stoppage.

"After four weeks of operating under a strike threat that has been very damaging both financially and to our reputation, I could not sit back, stand by and watch the organization be effectively slow-baked into this position, so we were coming very close to our form of action," WestJet CEO Ed Sims told reporters on Friday night.

The lockout threat could have been more of a tactic than an actual possibility, similar to the union's strike mandate. But actual job action by the airline could have hurt its public support.

"That kind of talk on each side of the table as you get close to a potential impasse [is normal]. Each party will describe to the other what a worst-case scenario could be for the other party," said labour relations consultant George Smith, a fellow at Queen's University's public policy school.

"I would think this is something the company might have wanted to remain in the four walls of the negotiation," said Smith, who is also former director of employee relations at Air Canada.

Ground the company

The same union document says WestJet negotiators went one step further and threatened to "shut down the whole airline."

The warning could have been a negotiating ploy, but Sims had seen an airline shut down before. In an email that Sims sent to WestJet employees earlier in the month, he highlighted his experience working at Ansett Australia, where a union leader reportedly preferred the airline go bankrupt than accept job losses.

"The union had put their arms so tightly around us, we fell into the abyss together. Two weeks later, just after the unforeseeable events of 9/11, Ansett went under after 66 years of flying. Everyone lost their jobs," Sims wrote in the email.

"I am surprised by that," said Smith, calling it "extreme" considering the company's financial success.

"In the heat of battle at the bargaining table, a threat might be made just to try to adjust the expectations of the pilots and make them realize how important cost control is from the perspective of the company," Smith said.

In emailed responses to CBC News, WestJet did not confirm nor deny that its negotiators threatened to shut down the company. 

"There were options on the table and a lockout was one of them," spokesperson Lauren Stewart said.

The union declined to comment on the threat of a company shutdown. A representative referred to a Facebook post published Friday that referred to the "very real threat" of a lockout.

What's left to do?

The pilots and the carrier have tentatively agreed on many items of the agreement such as medical examinations, training, and discipline. The most significant unresolved issue could be seniority, an especially crucial item for pilots.

"Most pilots work for the same airline for their whole career because seniority is so important to them. Even though their skills are transferable, their paycheque depends on the equipment they are flying, how far they are flying and all of those things are tied to seniority," said Smith.

One item no longer on the table is whether unionized pilots will fly for WestJet's new discount airline, Swoop. Sources inside the union had told CBC News that issue was a major sticking point and likely significant enough to motivate pilots to strike when Swoop launches on June 20.

In the end, the two sides agreed Swoop's pilots will be part of the union. Their compensation and other details are still being negotiated.

Lingering financial impact

WestJet is suffering a temporary financial hit in the "tens of millions of dollars," according to Sims, as wary travellers booked elsewhere to avoid a potential job action.

Analysts are watching the pilot negotiations closely to determine the lasting fiscal impact.

The air carrier has a 13-year streak of quarterly profits, but expenses could escalate.

"Our concerns continue to remain how these negotiations impact the company's long-term cost profile as well as other employee groups, which are being approached to organize formally," AltaCorp Capital analyst Chris Murray said in an investor note on Monday.

Other employees are watching the negotiations with pilots closely. Clive Beddoe, the airline's co-founder, warned in a 2013 video to employees about how pilots set the tone for the industry.

"Everybody in the industry has taken leadership from the pilots, so what will happen if we continue to pay pilots excess of market [value]? Why wouldn't we pay everybody else excess of market [value]? It's quite logical, quite reasonable.

"Well, I'll tell you, we will not survive. We will not survive that," he said.

.

 

Edited by Lakelad
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On 5/27/2018 at 7:54 AM, MD2 said:

The business model for Swoop is sound and looking at the big picture it does make sense to protect the rear from other ULCC new entrants and also respond to Rouge while forging ahead with big expansions with the B787s where literally sky is the limit opening new markets into Europe, Far East and South America and creating new opportunities and growth everywhere. The problem has been how to keep everyone focused on the big picture as opposed to worrying about little details. Naturally, Air Canada has not been very keen on having an emerging large international airline, much less one that is profitable and can really succeed. The challenge is to keep the cohorts understand and support the greater plan....

Sounds like a paragraph out of a promotional brochure to travel agents.

What NEW markets do you foresee ???  Anything that WJ does with the B787 will have been done by others.

Most likely scenario is using the B787 to destinations where they can enhance feed back in Canada (YYZ, YYC, YVR).  

Nothing earth shattering here, and be rest assured, the "partners" won't be having this affect them either.

Edited by AIP
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Fortunate for the two sides they got to an agreement on how to proceed, because this government isn't as inclined to rapid intervention in a labor dispute. So a strike lockout would have run a week or two, but now with the CPR strike, there is a good chance Parliament will be recalled, perhaps in a week or two. A Westjet dispute would have been swept up in the back to work legislation process - you know, kill two birds with one stone, at precisely the point where both sides would have bled, but neither was ready to concede, leaving more to an arbitrator's discretion. This is a more orderly process, with the likelihood that there will be a much shorter list going to arbitration, if there is even a need for it.

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On 5/29/2018 at 2:59 PM, AIP said:

Sounds like a paragraph out of a promotional brochure to travel agents.

What NEW markets do you foresee ???  Anything that WJ does with the B787 will have been done by others.

Most likely scenario is using the B787 to destinations where they can enhance feed back in Canada (YYZ, YYC, YVR).  

Nothing earth shattering here, and be rest assured, the "partners" won't be having this affect them either.

Lol, and this sounds like an Air Canada "...but we already fly there!" pitch!!

"New market" as in to WestJet and the experience it brings to it passengers/guests.

And for the first time in 19 years Canadians may have a year-round choice in overseas travel between two Canadian airlines.

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47 minutes ago, MD2 said:

Lol, and this sounds like an Air Canada "...but we already fly there!" pitch!!

"New market" as in to WestJet and the experience it brings to it passengers/guests.

And for the first time in 19 years Canadians may have a year-round choice in overseas travel between two Canadian airlines.

And in the meanwhile the market gets tighter.

 
 

British Airways is going budget on long-haul flights

  •  
The move could pit BA against low-cost long-haul trailblazer Norwegian on key transatlantic routes Credit: andreykr - Fotolia
Oliver Smith, Digital Travel Editor
6 March 2018 • 1:27pm
 

The reinvention of British Airways continues with the carrier planning to launch no-frills “basic economy” fares on its long-haul flights.

The cheaper tickets, which do not include checked luggage or seat selection, are already available on its short-haul services, but the move will see BA go head-to-head with the likes of low-cost trailblazer Norwegian on key routes to North America.

“In April 2018, we will be introducing a new long-haul basic economy fare on selected transatlantic routes,” said BA in a statement. “The new fare will give customers a lower price point and more choice.”

 
While checked luggage and seat selection will cost extra, as it does with low-cost airlines like Norwegian and Iceland-based WOW air, passengers will still get a free meal – something neither Norwegian or WOW offers.

The rub, of course, will be whether BA can match them on price. Full details of fares, as well as the routes on which they will be available, will be announced in the coming weeks, but, if the carrier’s short-haul services are a reliable guide, fliers can expect to save between 10 and 20 per cent by opting for “basic”. Which means the cost of a return flight from London to New York, flying from May 4-8 and currently available for £468, could fall to between £375 and £420.

By comparison, travellers can fly from London to New York over the same dates for as little as £265 with Norwegian.

So while BA’s new fare will include a few more frills - including free food - it looks unlikely to cut the cost of reaching many of the US destinations to which Norwegian flies – namely Boston, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Las Vegas, LA, New York, Austin, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle.

However, the British flag carrier also serves several US cities that Norwegian doesn’t, such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Nashville, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Washington DC, as well Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal in Canada. Should it choose to offer basic economy on these routes, it could become the cheapest option for Britons.

“There’s no doubt that these new fares will look cheaper and help BA pitch itself directly against new competitors such as Norwegian,” said Nick Trend, Telegraph Travel’s Consumer Editor. “But on long haul routes, where passengers are much more likely to want to bring hold luggage and select seats, it seems likely they will make little difference to the vast majority of economy class travellers. The fares may seem cheaper, but in practice nothing much has changed.”

 

The other low-cost long-haul players

It isn’t a straight shoot-off between BA and Norwegian, however. Another option is WOW, which flies to 13 US cities, including several served by neither BA or Norwegian (Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, St Louis and Pittsburgh), plus Montreal and Toronto. There’s a significant catch, however. All services from the UK include a stopover in Reykjavik.

<img class="responsive article-body-image-image" src="/content/dam/Travel/Airlines/wowSkuli_Mogensen_tfmom.jpg?imwidth=480" alt="Skúli Mogensen, the founder of WOW">  

Level, meanwhile, owned by BA’s parent company IAG, launched last year offering low-cost flights from Europe to Boston, LA, Newark, Oakland and Montreal (as well as Punta Cana and Buenos Aires). The only problem for British fliers? It is based in Barcelona (and, from July 2018, Paris).

<img class="responsive article-body-image-image" src="/content/dam/Travel/2017/November/airline-LEVEL_EXTERIOR_2.jpg?imwidth=480" alt="BA's new low-cost sister airline">  
BA's new low-cost sister airline

There’s also Primera Air, founded in Iceland, headquartered in Latvia, and with a Danish operating license (which makes things very confusing). Services from Stansted to Toronto, Boston and New York are starting in April, and one to Washington DC is coming in the summer. A route from Birmingham to New York is also on the cards.  

<img class="responsive article-body-image-image" src="/content/dam/Travel/2018/February/primera.png?imwidth=480" alt="Primera is coming to Stansted and Birmingham">  

How BA is turning itself into a low-cost airline

BA’s efforts to compete with its budget rivals has been a point of contention among readers for several years. The antipathy came to a head at the 2017 Telegraph Travel Awards, in which more than 90,000 of you voted. In the short-haul airlines category, BA, which had topped the poll for five consecutive years, slipped dramatically to 13th overall.

Among the biggest irritations was the decision to scrap free meals on all short-haul flights, but breathing room on BA planes is also shrinking.

Its Gatwick-based Boeing 777s are about to be reconfigured from nine to 10 seats per row, which will allow it to squeeze an extra 56 passengers on board.

 

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