Many Canadians are anxiously waiting to see if their travel plans will be disrupted for the Victoria Day long weekend if WestJet pilots decide to go on strike.
A union who represents the airline’s management, Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued a 72-hour strike notice on May 15.
An agreement between WestJet and the union must be met by 3 a.m. ET on Friday morning. If a deal isn’t reached then 1,600 flight crew members could be hitting the picket lines, the Canadian Press says.
READ MORE: WestJet pilots issue 72-hour strike notice ahead of Victoria Day long weekend
The Calgary-based airline has reportedly lost 340 pilots to other airlines over the past year-and-a-half.
If workers on go strike, the airline may ground all aircrafts and shut down operations.
WestJet says that although their pilots are paid well in Canada, a new pending contract would be “financially unworkable” for their employees and “put the company’s future at risk,” according a statement on Monday
WestJet says a lockout notice is not a work stoppage but in an effort to mitigate impacts, schedules may be reduced including flight changes and cancellations.
The airline assures that travellers affected by changes will be refunded or re-accommodated as applicable.
As Victoria Day long weekend approaches, Canadians with travel plans that may be inconvenienced by the potential strike are sharing their thoughts online.
“Heyyy WestJet – please come to an agreement with your pilots so that those of us traveling on Friday can stop stressing out. Thanks!!” one Twitter user shared.
A concerned Canadian awaiting her son’s visit said, “My son is in Vancouver, supposed to fly into Calgary on Sunday. Westjet plans to strike Friday and the hwy south is closed due to fire. I don’t know how I’m getting my son back to Peace River.”
Some hope a fair agreement is met so WestJet workers can receive livable wages.
“With the WestJet strike looming, now we see the folks who are worried about vacation plans starting to panic. They seem to be targeting the pilots. This is on management for refusing to pay fair market wages to their pilots, even though they pay themselves accordingly,” one user said.
One tweet reads, “Just a reminder to pilots and Westjet management that every customer you make pay extra for making alternate arrangements is a customer you will never get back, ever!”