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WestJet to rehire thousands of laid-off employees thanks to federal government's emergency wage subsidy

Last Updated Apr 9, 2020 at 4:25 pm PST

FILE - A pilot taxis a Westjet Boeing 737-700 plane to a gate after arriving at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., on Monday, Feb. 3, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

CEO and airline President Ed Sims says rehires are thanks to the Federal Government's emergency wage subsidy program

Sims says it doesn't mean everyone will automatically go back to work due to the ongoing pandemic

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Nearly 6,400 WestJet workers laid off because of the ongoing pandemic, are getting back on the company payroll.

CEO and airline President Ed Sims says it’s thanks to the Federal Government’s emergency wage subsidy program, and it comes after ‘substantial’ discussions with Ottawa.

“I’m grateful for the hard work of the government of Canada, and of all governments across Canada to provide businesses like ours with the tools to continue operating through these most challenging of times,” he says.

Sims says it doesn’t mean everyone will automatically go back to work because there might not be enough work to go around given the current travel restrictions.

It comes after Air Canada announced earlier Wednesday it was using the same program to hire back more than 16-thousand laid-off employees.