When Vail Resorts added Stevens Pass to its empire, ski patrollers feared becoming fungible parts in a corporate machine. So they organized.
…it grated in 2018, when Stevens Pass Resort became another asset in the fast-expanding empire of Vail Resorts, an industry titan worth more than $8 billion — underscoring the big money and power dynamics governing even this modest and traditionally easygoing workplace. Many patrollers wanted to be treated, and compensated, as professionals, not fungible parts in a corporate machine. The unionization effort they commenced — learning as they went — wasn’t just about sustainable wages, but about demanding a voice to speak to management as co-equal stakeholders in their resort.
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STEVENS PASS — Ski patrol workers at Stevens Pass Mountain Resort voted last week to unionize for better bargaining leverage with the ski mecca’s new ownership.
The 48 Stevens Pass employees join about 400 other ski patrollers already represented by the United Professional Ski Patrols of America Local 7781. The union is a chapter of the Communications Workers of America. Forty-five patrollers voted on the move, which passed 27-18.
The April 16 vote came after the acquisition of Stevens Pass last June by Vail Resorts of Colorado, for $67 million. The union already represents ski patrol teams at other resorts owned by Vail, including Park City and Crested Butte.
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