Purgatory ski patrollers have joined their unionized peers in Aspen, Big Sky, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Park City, Steamboat, Stevens Pass and Telluride in collective bargaining as part of the national resort labor movement.
This spring patrollers at Purgatory voted 35-3 to unionize. Later this month the patrollers — now part of the United Professional Ski Patrols of America — will meet with management and the ownership group Mountain Capital Partners to discuss increased wages and improved benefits. Last month 13 of Purgatory’s summertime mountain bike patrollers informed Mountain Capital Partners they intended to vote for unionization as well.
Last year patrollers at Vail Resorts’ Breckenridge narrowly approved unionization, joining patrollers at the company’s Crested Butte, Park City and Stevens Pass resorts. Steamboat and Telluride patrollers have been members of the United Professional Ski Patrols of America union for several years.
Aspen Skiing Co. patrollers are part of a private union. Patrollers at Big Sky in Montana last year voted to join a union while Keystone patrollers rejected a unionization effort in April 2021.
Ski patrollers are professionals who require constant expensive training and many credentials. They also live in resort towns that have become exceedingly unaffordable for their current wages. As skiers need to support their movement in the creation of a professional career track for the ski patrollers that we so depend upon.
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Photo: National Ski Patrol