WestJet Airlines Cancels Flights Expecting Union Strike By Reuters | Old North State Wealth News
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WestJet Airlines cancels flights expecting union strike By Reuters



(Reuters) -WestJet said on Wednesday it has started cancelling and consolidating flights as it prepares for a strike by its aircraft maintenance engineers and other technical operations employees.

In preparation for the expected strike, set to begin at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday, WestJet said it was cancelling 40 flights over June 18-19, affecting 6,500 customers.

WestJet Airlines’ mechanics union said on Tuesday it gave the carrier a 72-hour strike notice.

The strike covers about 681 aircraft maintenance engineers and other skilled employees, the union said.

The Canadian Industrial Review Board is holding hearings on Wednesday over the dispute between the carrier and the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association union. The labor board could take a range of actions, including ordering arbitration.

“So in the short term, there may be some flights disrupted, but I’m hoping that — I’m hoping that cooler heads will prevail,” Canadian Labor Minister Seamus O’Regan told reporters in Ottawa on Wednesday.

WestJet, which is backed by Onex Corp and which competes with rival Air Canada , is facing demands from employees for improved working conditions and higher salaries.

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