Canadian airline WestJet cancels at least 150 flights as mechanics go on 'unexpected' strike; nearly 20,000 passengers affected


Canadathe second largest airline in WestJet At least 150 flights were cancelled on Saturday Flights following a strike The strike, called by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, which includes airline maintenance workers, affected about 20,000 passengers.
Meanwhile, the union claims the strike was inevitable because of the airline's “unwillingness to negotiate with the union.”
Earlier, a ministerial order for binding arbitration was issued by the federal government on Thursday, following two weeks of discussions between the airline and the union regarding a new agreement.
“The union has confirmed that they will comply with the directive. In view of this, there will be no strike or lockout, and the airline will no longer proceed with cancellations of flights,” the airline said on Thursday.
The unexpected strike, which coincides with the Canada Day long weekend, is affecting both international and domestic flights.
Meanwhile, WestJet said it would hold the union fully liable for the unnecessary stress and costs caused by the strike.
However, in a notice to its members, the union negotiating committee cited an order by the Canada Industrial Relations Board that does not explicitly ban strikes or lockouts during arbitration proceedings by the tribunal.



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