Crested Butte, CO, Lift Maintenance Crew Wins Union Election

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Crested Butte, CO. | Credit: Gunnison Crested Butte Tourism

Crested Butte, CO — This morning, lift mechanics and electricians at Crested Butte Mountain Resort voted 7-3 to form the Crested Butte Lift Maintenance Professional Union (CWA 7781). This makes them the second lift maintenance crew in the country to unionize, following the unionization of Park City Lift Maintenance last October.

The maintenance crew announced their intent to unionize and asked for voluntary recognition on May 25, 2023. After Vail Resorts denied the request, despite unanimous support among the crew, the National Labor Relations Board conducted the election for union representation this morning.

“It is a long road ahead, but we are looking forward to making this a safe and sustainable career,” said Thomas Pearman, a second-year lift mechanic. “Vail Resorts delayed the inevitable, and now we are excited to finally have the opportunity to work through these challenges as equals.”

Lift mechanics and electricians at Crested Butte Mountain Resort decided to unionize so they can have a direct say in solving the issues they face at work: dangerous working conditions, high turnover, and a lack of support for professional development. By unionizing, they are improving not only their work conditions, but also the overall quality of the experience at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

“We are committed to this job,” Pearman said. “It is time for this job to show some commitment to us.”

The Crested Butte Lift Maintenance Professional Union is proud to join CWA 7781, including the Crested Butte Professional Ski Patrol Union, and the rest of the outdoor recreation workers in CWA 7781 in solidarity for a better future. We are looking forward to beginning bargaining for a first contract.

“Our team members are the heart of this resort, and we will always do the right thing for them regardless of a union. The outcome of today’s vote doesn’t change that. As we have shared with our team, we sincerely believe that a direct relationship between our company and our team members creates the strongest connection and allows every employee’s voice to be heard, because the reality is 30% of the lift maintenance team voted against joining a union today. If the results are certified, all current and incoming team members will be represented by the Communication Workers of America.  

In the past year, Vail Resorts made a significant investment in our team members of $175 million, to increase wages, expand benefits, support more affordable housing, and more. Those investments were the direct result of listening to our employees and taking action. We will continue to listen to our team members’ feedback and make changes to improve their experience.  

If today’s results are certified by the NLRB, we will comply with all applicable labor and employment laws and move forward in good faith, communicating through the representative selected by our lift maintenance mechanics and electrical technicians.”    

– Tara Schoedinger, Vice President & General Manager, Crested Butte Mountain Resort   

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