Mulcahy: A lesson for Aspen Skico? |

Mulcahy: A lesson for Aspen Skico?

Dear Editor:

“We believe a job should keep people out of poverty, not in it.”

– The Rev. Ken Brooker-Langston

Americans and little guys everywhere should rejoice that justice has been served on billionaire James and Paula Crown’s Aspen Skiing Co. (Skico).

The United States government’s National Labor Relations Board found Skico to be in violation of federal labor law in numerous situations, including their policy on freedom of speech in their employee handbook.

In addition, the feds will require Skico to remove these rules restricting freedom of speech, disband the illegal aspects of the Ski School of Aspen’s structure, and post notices of their past actions against employees that are federal labor law violations.

Using statistics from, the living wage campaign brought light to this issue with letters and advertisements in local newspapers in order to raise the minimum wage to a livable figure. I was fired with a call from the media, banned from U.S. National Forest, the lands of the American people, and smeared publicly, all for speaking out against the Aspen Skiing Co.

Not paying a living wage in one of the most expensive places in America seems so unfair to many, and for some readers, borders on abuse. The Crowns refusal to pay a living wage does not make sense – is it greed? Arrogance? Or both? Do the Crowns not care about their legacy? Do they not care about this community?

Some do not agree with the living-wage movement philosophically: raising the minimum wage to a livable figure for healthy families. Fine. But unlike the billionaire Crowns, these citizens are not taking a millions in tax deductions from the American people by donating to an organization that “promotes a living wage for healthy families.”

If the Crowns take money from the American people (repairing highways is a good image) than the Crowns need to practice what their philanthropy endorses.

These decisions by the United States government will help worker bees realize the extent of their protected rights as Americans. In the past, Skico’s assault on these rights has been ruthless; but now, it was the federal government who called them out, not just a Skico employee.

I sincerely hope this allows the Crowns’ Skico to become a more socially responsible member of the community of Aspen in regards to freedom of speech, and not simply as some have claimed: a ‘great vampire squid’ wrapped around the least of Aspen, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

I intend to put Skico’s “arrested for criminal trespass” for walking up National Forest to snowboard, the American people’s backyard, which Skico leases, to a test on April 15, 2011. The United States Forest Service stated that Skico’s ban, like their “conflict of interest” policy for speaking out, is simply ridiculous.

For contrast to all this seriousness, as one reader noted, is Paula Crown’s latest tweet:

“Just returned from art class at SAIC [School of the Art Institute of Chicago]. had birthday breakfast this morning with gal pals dressed as barbie.”

I thank the community of Aspen for all their support.

Lee Mulcahy


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