Ex pilot sues Westjet

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Ex pilot sues Westjet

Post by URC »

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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

Post by 43S/172E »

From PPRuNe

Good Afternoon All:

This article was posted on May 18th by the CBC.

What I find troubling about this article is the allegation that the employee in question was fired for insubordination for missing a meeting as the individual was "involuntarily committed to hospital for an emergency psychiatric assessment".

If this is the case does a company not have the obligation to allow the individual concerned to go through the treatment protocol until such time they are cleared by medical authorities?

This also suggests a troubling aspect of the company culture in this regard for its employees in medical distress.


Former WestJet pilot sues over bomb threat allegations - British Columbia - CBC News

Airline claims Keith Kippen was accused of fraud and failing to repay loans to fellow pilots
By Jason Proctor, CBC News Posted: May 18, 2016 5:00 AM PT Last Updated: May 18, 2016 10:30 AM PT
A series of bomb threats targeting WestJet last summer is part of a B.C. Supreme Court legal battle between the airline and one of its former pilots.
Keith Kippen is suing WestJet for wrongful dismissal and defamation.
In a notice of civil claim, the 48-year-old says he was arrested by the Ontario Provincial Police, his property was searched and his computer was seized after WestJet "maliciously communicated" that he was "the caller who had made the bomb threats."
Kippen claims he was fired on June 26, 2015, for "insubordination" after missing a meeting he said he couldn't attend because of a mental health crisis. The first of five bomb threats happened the next day.
In its response, WestJet says Kippen was called to a "mandatory" meeting to discuss allegations of fraud by a member of the public and claims by three fellow pilots who allegedly lost thousands after lending Kippen money.
The airline says the pilot was told he would be abandoning his employment if he didn't show up.
WestJet denies having told police it believed Kippen was the caller.
After he was fired, the airline claims, investigators obtained a production order for Kippen's employment records in relation to the bomb threats.
"Communications made to the police concerning the bomb threats were made without malice and in good faith for an honest and well-motivated reason," WestJet's response says.
"WestJet was under a legal, social and/or moral duty to provide information to the police to assist with the bomb threat investigation."
A spokesperson for the OPP says there have been no criminal charges in connection with the investigation.
'Computer disguised voice'
Both Kippen's claim and WestJet's response were filed last week in Chilliwack Supreme Court. Although many of the alleged events are said to have occurred in Ontario, Kippen has an address in B.C.
In a telephone interview, the pilot said he had nothing to do with the bomb threats.
The five calls happened between June 27 and July 2, 2015. At the time, then Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said those responsible would "face the full force of the law."
"Each of these threats were ultimately determined to be a hoax," Kippen's claim says. "The bomb threat calls were unidentifiable to WestJet, being in a computer-disguised voice encrypting sounds and gender."
Kippen claims he was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in February 2012 and spent time on both short-term and long-term disability.
In the month before he was fired, Kippen claims WestJet told him he was required to attend meetings to discuss "past business practices" and "claims of theft." But Kippen says he wasn't provided any particulars.
Ahead of the mandatory meeting set for June 26, 2015, Kippen claims he was involuntarily committed to hospital for an emergency psychiatric assessment.
He says a specialist ordered him "not to attend any management meeting until given medical clearance and to perform no flying duties."
As such, Kippen says he told WestJet representatives he couldn't meet until "his mental health improved."
Investigation into fraud allegations
In response, WestJet claims a woman contacted the company's fraud investigation unit in 2014 claiming Kippen had "cheated her out of monies" in relation to unpaid rent.
The response also details allegations involving three WestJet pilots including one who said he lost $180,000 in a business deal with Kippen and another who obtained a judgment against him for $15,865.05.
The airline claims supervisors attempted to meet with Kippen to discuss the allegations, sending him an ultimatum ahead of the final meeting: "His employment would be terminated for abandonment if he failed to attend."
WestJet claims it received a "brief note" from a doctor two weeks later.
"The medical note did not specify the plaintiff's medical limitations or restrictions on June 26, 2015," the response says.
"Nor did the note provide any explanation for the plaintiff's failure to communicate with WestJet prior to the meeting."
The response also claims Kippen has since been charged criminally with fraud in Ontario.
Kippen's lawyer, Howard Smith, says he's confident those charges will soon be resolved in his client's favour.
"The allegation of fraud and theft are close to scurrilous. They're so much nonsense." said Smith, who claims two of the three pilots named will be witnesses for Kippen.
WestJet says it had just cause to fire Kippen for insubordination, breaching the airline's anti-fraud policy and business code of conduct, and harming his working relationships with fellow pilots.
'Alleged involvement in the recent bomb threats'
Kippen claims the OPP stopped him on July 14, 2015, on a highway in southern Ontario.
"The OPP officer demanded that Kippen get out of his vehicle, slammed Kippen forcibly into the back of his SUV and detained him," the claim says.
At the London detachment, Kippen claims police "then asked him questions about his alleged involvement in the recent bomb threats against WestJet. Kippen stated that he was not involved in any bomb threat. Kippen was advised by the investigator that WestJet had said he was the bomb threat caller."
The claim says "audio recordings of the calls in question subsequently demonstrated that there was no evidence that Kippen was the caller and Kippen was released."
On the same day, Kippen claims police searched his property, seizing his personal computer, cellphone, old WestJet ID badge and aviation licence.
He's suing for damages for infliction of emotional distress, claiming the situation worsened his emotional condition "such that he entertained suicidal thoughts."
WestJet denies Kippen's claims.
In response, the airline is seeking special costs against its former pilot, claiming that prior to filing his claim, Kippen threatened to embarrass the company. WestJet claims he wants to undermine the airline's public reputation.
None of the claims by either party have been proven in court.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

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Yawn...
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

Post by Airband »

Court filed claim and response.
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Attachments
KippenWJAResponse.pdf
WestJet Response to Claim
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KippenClaim.pdf
Kippen Claim
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

Post by CAL »

me tinks this fella should have kept this can of beans closed...
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

Post by 43S/172E »

Taken from the Airline Employee Forum

That's what I was thinking when I got to your post. The mental health aspect is always concerning. Speaking generically, not about WestJet but all airlines, if you have hundreds or thousands of people flying aircraft, there are going to be some who go through periods of temporary or long-term insurmountable stress. It is paramount for an airline to have the hard (programs) and soft (cultural) procedures in place to recognize these situations, encourage people to come forward, treat the individuals with respect and if necessary remove them from duty until they are fit. Routine medicals are rarely enough to diagnose mental issues if the individual is working hard to suppress them for fear of being sidelined or fired. Even Lufthansa which is one of the world's most professional and respected airlines found that its procedures could be circumvented in the German Wings case, perhaps abetted by German disclosure laws and a laxity in the medical community about diligently communicating concerns about a patient's unfitness for duty. What is fair to ask of WestJet is whether they have the approach and the tools to deal with these cases in a manner that encourages pilots to come forward about themselves or peers, and then deals with situations fairly as opposed to causing unstable personnel to hide their symptoms out of fear for losing their livelihood. I have no idea about the answers to these questions, just that these questions should be asked of all airlines.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

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There are many policies and procedures in place at WJ to deal with this exact situation. Perhaps the issue is that there is a lack of independent application of the policies and procedures. I understand the 'case-by-case' basis by which many individual situations must be addressed but when it comes to the mental well-being of a flight crew member, there must be a standard. Yes, there's a PAT (Pilot Assistance Team) at WJ for the pilots, and it's goals are quite noble. It has great access to resources and is supposedly completely independent of WJ. How were they involved? One can only guess. Is it true that the chair of the WJPA was one of the people that sued him? If so, how could the WJPA even try to claim to represent this pilot? "I sued you and won a judgement, but it's ok... I'll still represent you fairly". That's not possible, nor is it possible for anyone who knows of the judgement to do so.... and now the whole world knows about it.
This seems to be a case of questionable cause behind the dismissal. The man was in a mental health facility and on his doctors orders was not to attend the meeting. His absence at the meeting was used as support for a position of abandonment. Is that right, fair, or just? This position is supported by his alleged breach of the anti-fraud policy at the company. The company goes on to state that he was in breach of that policy. Essentially he broke some contracts and did not fulfil his obligations under law and therefore there was even greater reason to terminate him. This gets quite personal there IMO. He had some bad financial dealings.... how does that affect his ability to fly a plane? His mental health is definitely something that could affect his ability to fly a plane but that seems quite glossed over in the response in a n effort to highlight his personal mistakes.
This manner of vigorous defense is almost identical to the way they are vigorously defending their position in the sexual assault allegations. They are attacking the attacker. It would seem that attempts are being made to besmirch the character and public perception of anyone who legally challenges them. Their defense should just stick to the facts and stay away from the personal aspect of things. That manner of defense stands out and I hope they realize that there is a significant segment of the general public that do see the personal attacks for being exactly that... personal and not professional.
I am very curious to find out if WJ did call the OPP and make accusations that this man was the caller in their opinion. For them to publicly deny it must mean that they either had nothing to do with it or they fail to recognize that all of the notes, calls and emails will be called for by the applicant as evidence (which they will have no choice but to produce) and will (if they exist) be presented in a courtroom that will have full access to the public, press included. As positive an image as they have carried for a very long time, it is an image that is significantly built upon how the employees are engaged and seen as owners. This is a core component of the marketing scheme of the company and it has worked like a gem. From the possible protecting of a man who had possibly sexually assaulted multiple women to the firing and randomly anonymous allegations made against union organizers, to the 8 current unjust dismissals waiting to be heard before the CIRB to the treatment of this pilot.... this core component is something to keep an eye on.
WestJet was built on the backs of strong and dedicated employees. WestJet is now much too large to remain as it was in the past... it will break those same backs. I honestly hope that everything comes out in the wash and many mistakes were made and that everyone involved can move on to happier and healthier places in their corporate and personal lives. It would appear that for that to happen, someone will need to be found guilty of something here. If the pilot is not telling the truth, his reputation and potential job prospects are in jeopardy. If the company is found guilty of the same, their image will never be the same and they will be out a lot of money. Either way, somebody loses but I hope it is to the gain of the rest of the employees somehow.

EDIT: The involvement of the PAT is alluded to in the paperwork but their role is still uncertain. I had previously stated that they were not involved at all and I was incorrect.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

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Perhaps this pilot, like the FA before him is hoping for an out of court monetary settlement from WJ. Surely after all that came out in the public domain from both parties, this man wouldn't want to work at WJ again and WJ wouldn't want him back. Also, what are his chances of getting another airline flying job here in Canada.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

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Also, what are his chances of getting another airline flying job here in Canada.
I'm guessing that after his settlement he won't need to worry about it.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

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If the company is found guilty of the same, their image will never be the same...
People have very short memories. Just look at politics and who does and does not get re-elected. Any damage to the company's reputation and public image will be short lived. As for the money, I'm sure it will be less than the average golden parachute in every executives' contract so... not much at all in the grand scheme of things.
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I'm going to knock this up a notch with my spice weasle. Bam!

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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

Post by True North »

Feel free to go here and educate yourselves;

http://theairlinewebsite.com/applicatio ... hp?id=3102

The guys sounds like a con artist to me.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

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Old fella wrote:Perhaps this pilot, like the FA before him is hoping for an out of court monetary settlement from WJ. Surely after all that came out in the public domain from both parties, this man wouldn't want to work at WJ again and WJ wouldn't want him back. Also, what are his chances of getting another airline flying job here in Canada.
snag wrote:
Also, what are his chances of getting another airline flying job here in Canada.
I'm guessing that after his settlement he won't need to worry about it.
Settlement? You're kidding right?
I won't get into Lewis's claim but this latest lawsuit doesn't have a chance in hell. The most annoying thing about it is that he owes so much money to all the rest of the people he swindled I doubt WJ will be able to recoup its legal costs.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

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FenceSitter wrote: This seems to be a case of questionable cause behind the dismissal. The man was in a mental health facility and on his doctors orders was not to attend the meeting. His absence at the meeting was used as support for a position of abandonment. Is that right, fair, or just?
It sounds like the busy psychiatrist took two weeks to write WJ a note specifically stating this. By that time he had already been terminated.
FenceSitter wrote: This manner of vigorous defense is almost identical to the way they are vigorously defending their position in the sexual assault allegations. They are attacking the attacker. It would seem that attempts are being made to besmirch the character and public perception of anyone who legally challenges them. Their defense should just stick to the facts and stay away from the personal aspect of things. That manner of defense stands out and I hope they realize that there is a significant segment of the general public that do see the personal attacks for being exactly that... personal and not professional.
My thoughts exactly.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

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Fanblade wrote:
FenceSitter wrote: This seems to be a case of questionable cause behind the dismissal. The man was in a mental health facility and on his doctors orders was not to attend the meeting. His absence at the meeting was used as support for a position of abandonment. Is that right, fair, or just?
It sounds like the busy psychiatrist took two weeks to write WJ a note specifically stating this. By that time he had already been terminated.
FenceSitter wrote: This manner of vigorous defense is almost identical to the way they are vigorously defending their position in the sexual assault allegations. They are attacking the attacker. It would seem that attempts are being made to besmirch the character and public perception of anyone who legally challenges them. Their defense should just stick to the facts and stay away from the personal aspect of things. That manner of defense stands out and I hope they realize that there is a significant segment of the general public that do see the personal attacks for being exactly that... personal and not professional.
My thoughts exactly.

Dude, did you actually read the statement of defence? I didn't see Greg S go on CBC with unproven allegations against Lewis. Or this latest dude who defrauded several pilots and the company out hundreds of thousands of dollars. I think WJ has handled this very well so far considering that Lewis got her husband to start that stupid SumofUs petition.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

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brooks wrote:
Fanblade wrote:
FenceSitter wrote: This seems to be a case of questionable cause behind the dismissal. The man was in a mental health facility and on his doctors orders was not to attend the meeting. His absence at the meeting was used as support for a position of abandonment. Is that right, fair, or just?
It sounds like the busy psychiatrist took two weeks to write WJ a note specifically stating this. By that time he had already been terminated.
FenceSitter wrote: This manner of vigorous defense is almost identical to the way they are vigorously defending their position in the sexual assault allegations. They are attacking the attacker. It would seem that attempts are being made to besmirch the character and public perception of anyone who legally challenges them. Their defense should just stick to the facts and stay away from the personal aspect of things. That manner of defense stands out and I hope they realize that there is a significant segment of the general public that do see the personal attacks for being exactly that... personal and not professional.
My thoughts exactly.

Dude, did you actually read the statement of defence? I didn't see Greg S go on CBC with unproven allegations against Lewis. Or this latest dude who defrauded several pilots and the company out hundreds of thousands of dollars. I think WJ has handled this very well so far considering that Lewis got her husband to start that stupid SumofUs petition.
Well, it's quite obvious you are an insider(employee, pilot maybe) with WJ and have better inside knowledge of both these situations and what is going down. Suffice it to say, WJ probably has it's T's crossed and I's dotted.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

Post by Fanblade »

brooks wrote:

Dude, did you actually read the statement of defence? I didn't see Greg S go on CBC with unproven allegations against Lewis. Or this latest dude who defrauded several pilots and the company out hundreds of thousands of dollars. I think WJ has handled this very well so far considering that Lewis got her husband to start that stupid SumofUs petition.
Dude,

May I call you that?

Number 1 rule.

You don't ever. Sorry not even close to strong enough. You NEVER dump on sexual assault victims.

Number 2 rule.

You don't ever, never, dump on people going through mental illness. Although it maybe tabo to talk about. It hits many many people. You might be next.

So like what part of "the caring culture" did you miss?

Or did I miss the whole point of WJ's caring culture?

Is the caring limited to just the brand?
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

Post by brooks »

Fanblade wrote:
brooks wrote:

Dude, did you actually read the statement of defence? I didn't see Greg S go on CBC with unproven allegations against Lewis. Or this latest dude who defrauded several pilots and the company out hundreds of thousands of dollars. I think WJ has handled this very well so far considering that Lewis got her husband to start that stupid SumofUs petition.
Dude,

May I call you that?

Number 1 rule.

You don't ever. Sorry not even close to strong enough. You NEVER dump on sexual assault victims.

Number 2 rule.

You don't ever, never, dump on people going through mental illness. Although it maybe tabo to talk about. It hits many many people. You might be next.

So like what part of "the caring culture" did you miss?

Or did I miss the whole point of WJ's caring culture?

Is the caring limited to just the brand?
Dude you don't ever go on multiple national TV networks with your designer lipstick and puppy dog in hand bashing how WJ "failed" me. Take it before the court and let the system decide.

2 Don't claim you have some mental illness when in fact you are pissing away peoples hard earned money and committing corporate fraud. We shall let the courts decide.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

Post by True North »

brooks wrote:Dude you don't ever go on multiple national TV networks with your designer lipstick and puppy dog in hand bashing how WJ "failed" me. Take it before the court and let the system decide.

2 Don't claim you have some mental illness when in fact you are pissing away peoples hard earned money and committing corporate fraud. We shall let the courts decide.
You're wasting your time. Fanblade saw the stories on the 6 o'clock news. He has all the "facts" he needs and is not going to waste his time reading the actual facts in the statement of defence (for either case). That would require effort and might confuse him.

When his case is heard, I doubt Mr Kippen will see a penny. If he stays out of jail he should consider himself lucky.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

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Actually I have read the statements of defence in both cases. In both, WJ is attacking rather than defending. In both, the cause for termination is questionable. The first over a swear word from a sexual assault victim, without even the slightest acknowledgement that WJ may have set the ground work for that frustration. The second over abandonment, for an individual who was dealing with mental illness, and was committed to hospital on or around the time of a meeting.

Much of the rest is just mud thrown against the wall.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

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Old fella wrote:Perhaps this pilot, like the FA before him is hoping for an out of court monetary settlement from WJ. Surely after all that came out in the public domain from both parties, this man wouldn't want to work at WJ again and WJ wouldn't want him back. Also, what are his chances of getting another airline flying job here in Canada.
The FA, Mrs. Lewis, has at no time... ever... indicated that this has anything to do with money. To the contrary, she has always stated that this is about justice and making positive change in the work environment so that no other person has to go through this without knowledge of firm and supportive procedures in place to deal with perpetrators of crimes in the workplace.
To make such a statement, Old Fella, is highly questionable to say the least. Everything is an allegation until proven in court and then it becomes a fact or a fallacy. Just because it's an allegation doesn't make it false, which seems to be the common tone when many posters address the allegations made regarding WJ or agents acting on it's behalf.
I'm not saying that anyone give the benefit of any doubt to anyone else, but at the very least, in fairness, give the same weight to both sides of the story. Consider the potential fallout for each party and see who has the most to gain or lose. In the age of instant, mass, and global media it is a serious decision to attach one's own name and face to a false allegation. When Mr. Mitchell attached his name to the report of fatigued pilots at WJ, he did so knowing that there was only fact behind his statements. These facts are outlined on WJ's own documentation. When Mrs. Lewis attached her name to multiple acts of litigation she took ownership of what she was saying/claiming as well. When Mr. Kippen went public with his allegation, he owns that as well. WestJet is a highly litigious company and will not let a false claim go unaddressed. This is not an insult but rather an opinion but given their litigious past, present and likely future it is highly unlikely that they will let any of these actions be settled. They will litigate this with strategy and as much control of the timing as possible. They also seem to be litigating on a personal level. As I said above, attacking the people who are claiming to be victims. This strategy is almost a scorched earth strategy which is almost to back these people into a corner where settlement, withdrawal, or concession is the easiest outcome.
These are some serious (some are criminal) allegations. These two people, nevermind the union organizers who are still to have their days in court, have a lot less to lose as well as gain by maintaining their position. Going to court with WJ should never be done without anticipation of personal attacks being leveled against you (for reference have a look at what Tim Morgan went through shortly after starting Enerjet, or read the responses to any claim filed against the company). The people who have the backbone to stand up for what they think is right are not criminals, they are not gold-diggers or fortune-seekers. They are people, little people. These little people are going up against a financial giant who will grind and wear them down with no regard for their personal consequences. It's a part of the strategy that many companies employ, not just WJ.
If WJ is vigorously defending itself just as it did in the corporate espionage scandal from 2003-2006 (the one during which WJ execs stood in front of their employees and repeatedly and clearly denied any of the allegations to which they ultimately admitted guilt in a court of law), they will have to eat some humble pie and move on eventually. They are trying to avoid eating the pie... vigorously. This isn't about money for either side. For WJ, it's about image and brand and for the applicants it's about justice and fairness. The only people saying it's about money are those who are not involved or those whose blind corporate faith is simply going to earn them a piece of pie later on.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

Post by Fanblade »

True North wrote: You're wasting your time. Fanblade saw the stories on the 6 o'clock news. He has all the "facts" he needs and is not going to waste his time reading the actual facts in the statement of defence (for either case). That would require effort and might confuse him.
Since you brought it up. Take a look at the pilots statement of claim and see when WJ cut him off from disibility. April 2015. Then look at the statement of defence by WJ and look at how many April 2015 financial issues are listed as cause against him.

Really? WJ cuts the guy off disibility and then uses the financial fallout against him?

Clearly much of what WJ has done in both cases is to attack the claimant rather than defend their position.

This behaviour won't wash in court. In court the arguments will centre only around the facts of just cause for termination. The swear word. Not showing at a meeting.

The rest? It's simply for public consumption. Brand protection or demonstrating to employees what happens if you get out of line. Probably both.

In no way am I suggesting I know who is right or wrong in any of these cases. I'm saying WJ's statements of claim, on there own, provide an eye opening window into WJ and its culture.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

Post by brooks »

The joys of a non-unionized environment, you actually get held accountable for your actions.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

Post by Fanblade »

brooks wrote:The joys of a non-unionized environment, you actually get held accountable for your actions.
You seem to have forgotten that accountability is a two way street.

Firing an alleged sexual assault victim because she was frustrated over how her complaint was handled.

That's holding her accountable?

Firing an employee suffering from a serious enough mental illness that he was recently put in hospital.

That's holding him accountable?

Remember, not one of these individuals went public before they were terminated. Only in response to it.
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

Post by Fanblade »

So Brooks,

Do you think it is fair ball to terminate someone's disibility income and then use the financial fallout to smear their reputation in a statement of defence?
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Re: Ex pilot sues Westjet

Post by Old fella »

FenceSitter wrote:
Old fella wrote:Perhaps this pilot, like the FA before him is hoping for an out of court monetary settlement from WJ. Surely after all that came out in the public domain from both parties, this man wouldn't want to work at WJ again and WJ wouldn't want him back. Also, what are his chances of getting another airline flying job here in Canada.
The FA, Mrs. Lewis, has at no time... ever... indicated that this has anything to do with money. To the contrary, she has always stated that this is about justice and making positive change in the work environment so that no other person has to go through this without knowledge of firm and supportive procedures in place to deal with perpetrators of crimes in the workplace.
To make such a statement, Old Fella, is highly questionable to say the least. Everything is an allegation until proven in court and then it becomes a fact or a fallacy. Just because it's an allegation doesn't make it false, which seems to be the common tone when many posters address the allegations made regarding WJ or agents acting on it's behalf.
I'm not saying that anyone give the benefit of any doubt to anyone else, but at the very least, in fairness, give the same weight to both sides of the story. Consider the potential fallout for each party and see who has the most to gain or lose. In the age of instant, mass, and global media it is a serious decision to attach one's own name and face to a false allegation. When Mr. Mitchell attached his name to the report of fatigued pilots at WJ, he did so knowing that there was only fact behind his statements. These facts are outlined on WJ's own documentation. When Mrs. Lewis attached her name to multiple acts of litigation she took ownership of what she was saying/claiming as well. When Mr. Kippen went public with his allegation, he owns that as well. WestJet is a highly litigious company and will not let a false claim go unaddressed. This is not an insult but rather an opinion but given their litigious past, present and likely future it is highly unlikely that they will let any of these actions be settled. They will litigate this with strategy and as much control of the timing as possible. They also seem to be litigating on a personal level. As I said above, attacking the people who are claiming to be victims. This strategy is almost a scorched earth strategy which is almost to back these people into a corner where settlement, withdrawal, or concession is the easiest outcome.
These are some serious (some are criminal) allegations. These two people, nevermind the union organizers who are still to have their days in court, have a lot less to lose as well as gain by maintaining their position. Going to court with WJ should never be done without anticipation of personal attacks being leveled against you (for reference have a look at what Tim Morgan went through shortly after starting Enerjet, or read the responses to any claim filed against the company). The people who have the backbone to stand up for what they think is right are not criminals, they are not gold-diggers or fortune-seekers. They are people, little people. These little people are going up against a financial giant who will grind and wear them down with no regard for their personal consequences. It's a part of the strategy that many companies employ, not just WJ.
If WJ is vigorously defending itself just as it did in the corporate espionage scandal from 2003-2006 (the one during which WJ execs stood in front of their employees and repeatedly and clearly denied any of the allegations to which they ultimately admitted guilt in a court of law), they will have to eat some humble pie and move on eventually. They are trying to avoid eating the pie... vigorously. This isn't about money for either side. For WJ, it's about image and brand and for the applicants it's about justice and fairness. The only people saying it's about money are those who are not involved or those whose blind corporate faith is simply going to earn them a piece of pie later on.
Yikkers fencesitter, Don’t know what to say outside of a previous life in Aviation I was a rep for a number of represented employees. One thing I can say (with experience) there are truths, exaggerations, misrepresentations from both sides sitting across the table dealing with all types of issues. Yes, litigation is a very serious last resort course of action, very expensive regardless of the outcome. It is done by a plaintiff I would hope, with full eyes open and yes it would be correct to say doing that one has the courage of their convictions to go there. It is also correct to suggest that the vast majority of such litigation is settled out of court. However correct to say, this may not be the case against WJ.
Good luck to the Plaintiffs
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