WestJet urges federal government to deviate from employee group layoff rules

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OTTAWA –
WestJet has written to the federal government asking for a labor rule waiver that requires 16 weeks’ notice of layoff as the airline seeks to lay off much of its workforce.

In a letter obtained by CTV News, the company’s executive vice-president responsible for people and culture, Mark Porter, explains that due to “unprecedented circumstances” resulting from COVID-19, the company plans to permanently reduce its workforce of 50 or more, triggering Division IX of the Canada Labor Code.

Among other guidelines, Section IX stipulates that in the event of collective redundancies within four weeks, 16 weeks notice – as opposed to two weeks – must be given to employees and to the Minister of Employment and Development Social and Employment Canada Insurance Commission.

Porter is requesting a waiver from the terms of the collective layoff notice and the requirements of the Joint Planning Committee, which he says are With files from Glen McGregor of CTV News

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