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Monday, January 30, 2023

Canada’s Cargojet Pilots Join World’s Largest Pilot Union

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The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) has been recognized as the representative of more than 300 Cargojet pilots by the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB).

In August, pilots voted for ALPA representation, with 93 percent voting in favor of joining the world’s largest pilot union.

“ALPA is thrilled and honored to welcome our new flying partners, and we have already begun work to guarantee that Cargojet pilots receive the assistance and support they need to safeguard and promote their careers,” ALPA president Capt. Joe DePete stated.

ALPA took quick action earlier this week on behalf of 23 Cargojet pilots who were unlawfully terminated just days after the CIRB vote results were announced.

ALPA claimed in an unfair labor practice lawsuit that Cargojet management violated many provisions of the Canada Labour Code by unfairly firing nearly two dozen probationary pilots while continuing to hire new pilots. The firings were also met with harsh criticism from ALPA Canada and the Air Canada Pilots Association.

“Normally, we would begin a fresh relationship with the management team by discussing how we can collaborate to accomplish our joint goals in the future.

Cargojet management, on the other hand, wasted no time in displaying their unwillingness to be a productive partner in the airline’s success, leaving us with no choice but to forcefully protect the rights of ALPA’s newest pilot group,” DePete continued.

While the CIRB investigates the complaint, Cargojet pilots will begin the process of establishing their internal structure and enforcing the collective agreement, with the help of ALPA’s devoted team of pilot volunteers and professional personnel.

“Cargojet pilots delivered a clear message to management that they wanted a pilots’ union to fight for them and safeguard their interests, such as contesting management’s recent attempts to weaken federal rules governing pilot rest requirements,” said Tim Perry, president of ALPA Canada.

“Not only will we continue to preserve pilots’ careers and their collective agreements, but we will also pursue the reinstatement of those 23 pilots aggressively.”

The current Cargojet executive team has a history of intimidation and coercion. After finding that Cargojet was attempting to reduce newly designed Canadian flight, duty, and air safety regulations, Capt. DePete expressed major concerns about the efforts to impair one of the most crucial aviation safety issues for Canadian flight crews.

Air Borealis, Pivot Airlines, Air Transat, Bearskin, Calm Air, Cargojet, Canadian North, First Air, Flair Airlines, Jazz Aviation, Kelowna Flightcraft, Morningstar Air, PAL Aerospace, PAL Airlines, Perimeter, Wasaya, WestJet, and WestJet Encore is now represented by ALPA. Cargojet, based in Mississauga, Ontario, is Canada’s largest provider of time-sensitive premium air cargo services to key cities around North America.

ALPA, which was founded in 1931, is the world’s largest airline pilot union, representing over 61,000 pilots across 38 airlines in Canada and the United States. Visit www.alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ALPAPilots for more information.

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