Calling out Skico | AspenTimes.com

Calling out Skico

Dear Editor:I have worked for the Aspen Skiing Co. since 1996 and as a ski instructor since 1997. My recent troubles with the Skico, covered in a front-page story [“Ski town song hits sour note”] in Sunday’s edition of the Chicago Tribune, began with a letter to the editor in this paper published on May 11, 2010. One of my students, who read a recent article in the Aspen Daily News about the current U.S. government’s National Labor Relations Board investigation into the labor practices of the Skico, joked that the article made it seem like I was in China getting training from disciples of Mao & Fidel.Actually, I was there for my painting exhibition at the Yuanfen Gallery in the 798 arts district in Beijing. Two of my paintings, inspired by Dan Sheridan: “Big $” and “Big $ [3]” head to another exhibition in Berlin in January. Irving Sandler, an art critic, a formalist, believed that art is manifestation of political and social thought and can only be properly understood as such.As a proud member of long-standing of the Ski School of Aspen, as well as an active participant of the community in the town we all love, I have continued to encourage the Skico to be a more socially responsible member of the community. According to povertyinamerica.org, the Skico does not pay a “living wage” to both some of its employees and some of its instructors. As just one example of the inequities clearly impacting the community, although legal, it is morally questionable for the ownership of Skico to pay $66 for a day’s work to some instructors on a Ski School of Aspen private lesson, which is simply a service that Skico then charges the client $625 for the day, producing a gross profit after paying labor of $559. Lee MulcahyAspen