Pack your patience! Pilots to picket at three major Canadian airports today

May 8 2023, 5:42 pm

Anyone flying from Vancouver International Airport, Toronto Pearson Airport, and Calgary International Airport on Monday is urged to show up a bit early due to potential airport impacts.

The union representing pilots is staging a picket line at those airports for a portion of the day to bring attention to its ongoing fight with its employer, WestJet.

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said last month that 93% of its members voted in favour of a strike if contract negotiations don’t reach an agreement before the Victoria Day long weekend.

Among the issues at hand is that the association is demanding that its employer ensure two pilots remain in the cockpit due to what they say are safety concerns.

“Despite developments in automation and improved technologies on the flight deck, two pilots at the controls remain the most important safety features of an aircraft,” a news release reads in part.

However, there doesn’t appear to have been any progress made at the table in recent days.

On Monday, Vancouver’s airport shared on social media that the picket will not be in place long, just between 11 am and 12:30 pm along the Departures level curb.

“We do not anticipate an impact to travellers, travellers are encouraged to arrive early,” YVR tweeted Monday.

This is a developing story. 

With files from Isabelle Docto

Claire FentonClaire Fenton

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