Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO, Lift Maintenance Crew Begins Process to Unionizing

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Silver Queen Express – Credit: Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Today, 100% of the lift maintenance crew at Crested Butte Mountain Resort submitted a letter to resort management and Vail Resorts requesting voluntary recognition of their union, the Crested Butte Lift Maintenance Professional Union (CWA 7781). This would make them the second lift maintenance crew in the country to unionize and the first members of the United Professional Ski Patrols of America to request voluntary recognition.

“Not many people understand what it really takes to maintain these machines. We want our mountain to prosper, but when all the decisions are being made in Broomfield boardrooms, we are left out.”

– second-year lift mechanic Thomas Pearman

Lift mechanics and electricians at Crested Butte Mountain Resort face dangerous working conditions, high turnover, and a lack of support for professional development. By unionizing, they can address these issues to build a highly professionalized lift maintenance crew and a safer working environment. With 100% of the crew signed on, it is time for Vail Resorts to recognize the Crested Butte Lift Maintenance Professional Union and promptly address these issues at the bargaining table. The union has filed a petition for representation with the NLRB but is prepared to withdraw it upon receiving voluntary recognition by Tuesday, May 30th.

“If we are trusted to do work on the lifts, we should be trusted to negotiate for ourselves as well. Our union has 100% support from its members, and we are committed to forming our union regardless of the path we have to take to achieve it.”

– Rob Alexander, a lift mechanic with three years of experience

Last October, the lift mechanics and electricians at Park City Mountain Resort made history as the first lift maintenance crew in the country to organize a union and won their election for representation with an 85% margin of support. The Crested Butte Lift Maintenance Professional Union is proud to join them, the Crested Butte Professional Ski Patrol Union, and the rest of the United Professional Ski Patrols of America in solidarity for a better future.

Tara Schoedinger, General Manager at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, reached out to SnowBrains with the below comment:

“I am committed to the constant improvement of our employee experience, which includes significant investment in employee wages, employee benefits, and affordable housing for the 22/23 season, among other steps. My leadership team and I are proud of our efforts so far, and I’m committed to continuing these efforts. I believe in engaging with all employees with respect, accountability, and transparency, and I encourage all staff members to communicate directly with me and our leadership team. My number one priority is working together as one team to ensure a positive employee experience, which includes sharing and addressing concerns together. I believe a direct relationship with our team works best rather than through a third party, and at the same time, am dedicated to working closely with our team whichever decision they make.” 

– Tara Schoedinger

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