Letter: Do the right thing, Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts has announced hourly rate increases for most low wage workers at its United States ski resorts, beginning in the winter of 2021-2022. According to the emailed announcement from CEO Rob Katz, all non-union employees in California, Colorado, Utah, and Washington will see an increase in the minimum entry wage to $15 per hour, while employees at eastern resorts will get a minimum wage increase “on a market-by-market basis, giving consideration to the unique dynamics at each individual resort and the local competitive market.”
It’s interesting to note that only nonunion employees at western resorts, which are beset by union organizing and a federal class action lawsuit charging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, will get an automatic minimum wage increase to $15, while employees at eastern resorts who have been generally quiet and compliant will instead get some sort of undefined, we’ll figure it out when we can, whatever-whatever, mumbo-jumbo wage bump.
There is little doubt the recent union drives and FLSA class action at western resorts were prime triggers for these increases which will benefit most low wage workers, even those far away from the organized action. I appreciate the efforts of the union employees who have struggled to organize, and I appreciate the employees who have challenged unfair and possibly illegal employment practices under the FLSA. Their efforts have helped all employees at Vail Resorts.
I’m troubled that Vail Resorts hasn’t yet clearly committed to a similar wage increase for union members, and is instead forcing an unnecessarily adversarial relationship instead of what should be an easy collective bargaining adjustment.
Come on Vail Resorts, live your self-published creed: Do good, do right.
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