Continued Inaction by the Canadian Government Leads to More Layoffs and Labor Uncertainty

1 April 2021 | Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA)

OTTAWA, Ont. —Tim Perry, President of the Canadian Component of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), today issued the following statement following the layoff of over 400 additional pilots at WestJet Airlines, while uncertainty still hangs over other major carriers, including Air Transat.  

“The Canadian aviation sector is a vital part of the Canadian economy that facilitates local and international trade, plays a key role in tourism, and ensures the free flow of people and cargo in our vast, diverse country and across the country. the world. Before COVID-19, the industry employed more than 141,000 Canadians with an economic footprint of $ 50 billion and supported millions of other good jobs and families across the country. ”   

“Unfortunately, the government continues to fail to respond adequately to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the Canadian aviation sector. As the government continues to procrastinate, the industry is becoming more and more vulnerable day by day, and jobs continue to disappear. “

“Nearly 10,000 careers at WestJet remain unresolved, and there are only 4,800 employees today, compared to 14,000 just 12 months ago. Over 400 other employees, including myself, have been laid off as of today. ” 

“ALPA Canada also represents the pilots of Air Transat, where the professional future of nearly 5,000 highly qualified workers remains to be defined. In addition to failing to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, our government has spent 18 months deliberating on the impending sale of this airline to another industry competitor, which has only increased the ‘uncertainty. “

“ALPA’s position to the government on how to help industry weather the storm has, since day one of the pandemic, remained consistent; or work with us to fully assess solutions to ensure a strong and stable industry, before it’s too late.

“With less than three weeks to go before the federal budget, we will continue to promote our many well-articulated, science-based recommendations and we urge the government to ensure that labor groups, such as ALPA Canada, are involved in discussions regarding the implementation of a targeted aviation financial assistance program that provides direct support to airlines that have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any financial assistance to the industry, which does not support the employees, would be considered a failure by this government. “

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest airline pilot union, representing more than 59,000 pilots who work for 35 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at