Unions Crop Up At Western Resorts; Beaver Creek Ski School Seeks Representation
Seeking better pay, the ski and snowboard instructors at Colorado’s Beaver Creek are the latest employee group to attempt to form a union at a major Western resort.
The instructors on the Vail Resort-owned mountain are the first of their profession to try to organize. They join ski patrollers at Steamboat, Crested Butte, Canyons, Telluride and likely Taos Ski Valley as formal unions – all represented by the Communications Workers of America.
The instructors at Beaver Creek are seeking increases in hourly wages that, the union says, have languished in the past decade. They contend that better pay and better working conditions translate into higher job satisfaction – and a better experience for visiting skiers and snowboarders.
“The result is a more contented and compensated workforce which typically leads to increased stability and professionalism which ultimately enhance the customer experience,” Kogler told us.
Vail Resorts responded in a press release: “We place the highest value on the employee experience at Beaver Creek and work diligently to ensure that we have a competitive package of benefits and wages and that we treat all of our employees fairly and with respect,” said Vail’s Fred Rumford.
In both Beaver Creek and Taos, CWA must sign up at least 30 percent of workers before petitioning the National Labor Relations Board for a vote.
In an email sent recently to Beaver Creek ski instructors, Vail Resorts announced pay raises: a 55-cent increase to $10.50 an hour for non-certified instructors, and a $4.05 increase to $18 an hour for the most-experienced, Level 3 certified instructors.
Photo: Ski instructors at Beaver Creek seek higher pay (Beaver Creek/Facebook); Early Patrol at Taos where patrollers also seek union representation (Taos Ski Valley/Facebook)