You know I love skiing, so when I read about problems surrounding our family’s favorite sport, it’s with a heavy heart. When Vail Resorts took over our home ski mountains, Attitash and Wildcat, it was greeted with excitement. But as time has passed there have been mismanagement and safety issues (Read Part I and Part II). Now, Vail-owned Park City (another family favorite) is facing a potential ski-patrol strike. Outside Online reports:
Ski patrollers at Utah’s largest resort could be headed for a showdown with Vail Resorts.
On Monday, the Park City Professional Ski Patrol Association (PCPSPA) voted to stop working should ownership reject a pay increase. Union leadership announced that 168 of its 171 members voted in favor of going on strike.
The union has been in negotiations with Vail Resorts about raising its minimum wage since August 2020. The current starting wage for patrollers there is $13.25 per hour. Vail has offered to increase that to $15 per hour, but the union is asking for a $17 per hour minimum as well as a $1 per hour increase after an employee’s first three years of service.
“A strike authorization does not mean that a walkout is inevitable,” the PCPSPA wrote online. “However, it does show that our membership is prepared to participate in a work stoppage if necessary.”
A strike would likely shut down Park City Mountain Resort during its busiest stretch of the year.
“Ideally, the company sees this authorization as an indicator of our collective strength and offers us a reasonable contract without requiring further action,” the union said in a statement.
Last week a representative from Vail Resorts told the Salt Lake Tribune that the company is preparing for a potential strike. The newspaper recently reported that a Vail employee contacted ski patrollers in New Hampshire, offering $600 a day and travel expenses to come work in Utah in the event of a strike. A Vail Resorts spokesperson said the email was unauthorized.
The union met with representatives of Vail Resorts on Monday night, however neither party announced news of a resolution Tuesday morning.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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