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Park City Mountain Resort mechanics start the unionization process

PARK CITY, Utah —Lift mechanics and electricians at Park City Mountain Resort put forward a petition for the election of representatives to the National Labor Relations Board. The Park City Lift Maintenance Professional Union will organize under the United Pressional Ski Patrols of America (CWA 7781). The petition, submitted with 80% support, grants the opportunity for the organization to become the first ski resort mechanics union in the U.S.

Resort employees have dealt with the challenges living in an expensive place with wages that would be considered limited at best. This is no different for the mechanic’s team, who argue that their compensation is inadequate for a role that puts them in dangerous work conditions, understaffing, and having to live in expensive areas. This understanding drives the group to seek unionization to create change.

“The prosperity, happiness, and safety of the mechanics and electricians in Lift Maintenance has been a discussion for years,” said Liesl Jenkins, a lift mechanic at Park City Mountain Resort. “Having a voice and the opportunity to negotiate with our employer is paramount to the retention of mechanics and electricians, as well as experience, in our department.”

Unionization among ski resort employees is not a new path, with the Aspen Professional Ski Patrol Association forming a local union in 1986. The recent success of the CWA 7781, however, does represent a roadmap for the potential union as they continue to grow. There are currently 650 ski patrollers in the union between the Mountain West and Pacific Northwest.

As the movement to form the Park City Lift Maintenance Professional Union continues, things are already changing for resort workers as a whole. Vail changed its minimum pay to $20 an hour for all employees starting in the upcoming 2022/2023 ski season.

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