Crested Butte lift maintenance crew unionizes following Park City’s lead

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. — The lift maintenance crew at Crested Butte Mountain Resort became the second in the nation to move to unionize on Thursday, following the unionization of the lift maintenance crew at Park City Mountain last year.

Whereas 80% of the crew in Park City supported the move to unionize, the Crested Butte vote was supported by 100% of the crew.

The crew is requesting voluntary recognition from Vail Resorts. This would sidestep the 4-6 week delay that an National Labor Relations Board election would cause, and allow Vail Resorts/CBMR management and the lift maintenance crew to begin the process of bargaining for a first contract that would address safety concerns, compensation, and other workplace conditions.

“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,” said Rob Alexander, a lift mechanic with three years of experience at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

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

Representative from the Crested Butte crew say that lift mechanics and electricians at the resort face dangerous working conditions, high turnover, and a lack of support for professional development. By unionizing, they will be able to address these issues to build a highly professionalized lift maintenance crew and a safer working environment.

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