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WestJet to re-hire more than 6,000 employees

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Apr 9th, 2020

WestJet is going to tap into the federal government’s emergency wage subsidy program to re-hire more than 6,000 workers.

The Calgary-based airline announced last month that it was reducing its staff by 50 per cent with all its international flights grounded and its domestic schedule cut back drastically.

But the company can put those people back on the payroll with Ottawa offering to cover 75 per cent of wages under the federal government’s stimulus efforts.

WestJet CEO Ed Sims made the announcement over social media on Wednesday night.

“We are pleased to announce that, after substantial discussions with the federal government, that we’ll be bringing almost 6,400 employees back on the WestJet payroll once the government has approved the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy program.”

However, Sims noted that it the move doesn’t mean people will be back on the job right away.

“This does not automatically mean that they will be coming back to work, as there may simply not be enough work there for them, but it will help them make ends meet.”

Sims added that he was grateful for the work by the Canadian government for implementing tools that will keep businesses running “through these most challenging of times.”

The announcement by WestJet comes after Air Canada announced it was also bringing more than 16,000 workers using the same program.

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