Ski pros treated more than fairly
I have sat quietly by as ski pro Lee Mulcahy has made his charges against the Aspen Skiing Co.’s pay policies. I had hoped his orchestrated campaign would lose steam by now but he seems intent on keeping the fire burning, perhaps in hopes he can influence the outcome of his upcoming hearing before the National Labor Relations Board.
Several friends, knowing I am a 28-year Aspen Highlands pro, have asked me why we other pros don’t speak out on the Skico’s behalf. They’re right; we should speak up.
When the Skico absorbed Aspen Highlands’ operations in 1993, they amazed us by crediting the years we had worked there as if we had been working for the Skico. This remarkable generosity of the Crowns meant we were entitled to all the benefits all other Skico employees enjoyed, such as a 10-year full ski pass for ourselves and our spouses once we had reached 20 years of employment and a lifetime ski pass when we attained 30 years
But Mulcahy seems unable to see beyond the plight of a poor beginning ski pro, someone with little or no experience, training and no certification, someone who will most certainly not be assigned an all-day, $625 private lesson. Face it, the Skico would be mad to assign such a woefully unqualified pro to a valued guest.
Moreover, where in the world does a seasonal worker who is not yet anywhere near being a professional expect to be paid a living wage?
A $625 charge is a fair price when one considers the Skico provides some excellent benefits, such as (and not limited to) pay to each pro for up to 25 hours of training each year, an hour’s pay when required to show up for lessons even though there is no lesson for that pro that day, and a full season’s ski pass for every full-time pro and their entire dependent family. Other benefits, such as their 401K and health insurance programs, are also offered, something the Crown family technically did not have to provide but did so because it was the right thing to do and because they truly care for their employees.
Suffice to say Mulcahy has an agenda to unionize ski pros and is therefore out to discredit the Skico and the Crown family. From my experience, I sincerely believe the vast majority of ski pros are very happy with their positions with the Skico, and Lee should accept that and move on.
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