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Mont Tremblant Strike

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Has anyone heard any positive news about the strike coming to an end? Things are not looking to good from what I've read and since many reservations are non-refundable after a certain point many people may be stranded without much to do. If anyone knows of any ski mountains around the area or of any other activities feel free to share them.
post #2 of 18
post #3 of 18
How sad it is that Intrawest Management did not have the ability to avoid this strike. There is now a terrible dilema. Either they give their staff what they want (and I'm sure deserve) after losing millions of dollars unnecessarily. Or they continue to try to Union bash and dig in for the long term, which will lose even more money. Worse than that, if their workers feel that they have "lost the battle" Intrawest Managers must not be too smug. Because the scars will remain for years and the excellent, friendly service which we have all enjoyed is likely to become service "with a snarl" by bitter and disillusioned workers.Intrawest Management have steered themselves into a situation which will permanently damage this excellent resort whatever the outcome.
Personally, I call it bungling incompetence and lack of foresight. There are no winners here, whatever happens now.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by helen25263
How sad it is that Intrawest Management did not have the ability to avoid this strike. There is now a terrible dilema. Either they give their staff what they want (and I'm sure deserve) after losing millions of dollars unnecessarily. Or they continue to try to Union bash and dig in for the long term, which will lose even more money. Worse than that, if their workers feel that they have "lost the battle" Intrawest Managers must not be too smug. Because the scars will remain for years and the excellent, friendly service which we have all enjoyed is likely to become service "with a snarl" by bitter and disillusioned workers.Intrawest Management have steered themselves into a situation which will permanently damage this excellent resort whatever the outcome.
Personally, I call it bungling incompetence and lack of foresight. There are no winners here, whatever happens now.
Intersting perspective on this event. Do you have some inside information on the strike? Those that I have heard from have a very different take on the matter.
post #5 of 18
Ullr, what have you heard?
post #6 of 18
Just what JB and some of the other employees have been posting over at his site.
post #7 of 18
Interesting that from what I read on JB's board the rank and file seem to be NOT represented by their Union.
post #8 of 18
My point exactly. JB has always has run great sites with tons of good information, but on this topic it seems to be very one sided. Some of the members of the forum are union members, and appear to be siding with Intrawest during the strike. My interest in this issue is how will this event affect other ITW Resorts, particularly those in Canada.
post #9 of 18
Hi,
Unfortunately I have been forced into a corner by professional Union Bashing and ended up on strike along with my husband, leaving us very worried parents of 4 young children. I did not believe that a strike would necessarily get our conditions improved, but when the members of a Union vote, I believe that you stick together and do what the majority decides. It always becomes nasty and the propoganda which was spread by both employers and Union leaders was staggering, in our case.
My point is that as a Union member I would do it all again if that's what the members decide, but there are NO WINNERS! I have experienced the aftermath of a bitter dispute, where nobody in the workplace has any pride in their work, everyone does the minimum possible and people start leaving in droves. A skillful management team would have such good communications with their staff that staff would not feel the need to take such drastic and frightening action, at the expense of their security and families. It's easy to frown upon Union members at Tremblant. but if they are willing to go on strike to improve their pay, you can bet that they are feeling that enough is enough.
I hope you all sort this out soon, but as I said before, I am worried for the future of Tremblant now.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by helen25263
Hi,
Unfortunately I have been forced into a corner by professional Union Bashing and ended up on strike along with my husband, leaving us very worried parents of 4 young children. I did not believe that a strike would necessarily get our conditions improved, but when the members of a Union vote, I believe that you stick together and do what the majority decides. It always becomes nasty and the propoganda which was spread by both employers and Union leaders was staggering, in our case.
My point is that as a Union member I would do it all again if that's what the members decide, but there are NO WINNERS!
Indeed.

Nobody wants to go on strike, despite media claims to the contrary.

Likewise, the outcome is never assured. The company and the media are bound to play on people's basic insecurity. A record of wins for either management or unions has a bearing on how confident they feel.

You stick together because there is strength in numbers. The management would much prefer to divide and rule.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by helen25263
Hi,
Unfortunately I have been forced into a corner by professional Union Bashing and ended up on strike along with my husband, leaving us very worried parents of 4 young children. I did not believe that a strike would necessarily get our conditions improved, but when the members of a Union vote, I believe that you stick together and do what the majority decides. It always becomes nasty and the propoganda which was spread by both employers and Union leaders was staggering, in our case.
My point is that as a Union member I would do it all again if that's what the members decide, but there are NO WINNERS! I have experienced the aftermath of a bitter dispute, where nobody in the workplace has any pride in their work, everyone does the minimum possible and people start leaving in droves. A skillful management team would have such good communications with their staff that staff would not feel the need to take such drastic and frightening action, at the expense of their security and families. It's easy to frown upon Union members at Tremblant. but if they are willing to go on strike to improve their pay, you can bet that they are feeling that enough is enough.
I hope you all sort this out soon, but as I said before, I am worried for the future of Tremblant now.
Helen you are part of the problem...do not let yourself be brainwashed by the union. Having had experience with unions before, I can say that this dispute was inevitable. Unions refuse to negotiate until its crunch time and then misinform there members in order to incite a strike...It is unfortunate but it is this union mentality which will eventually bankrupt our society.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ijustwannaski
Helen you are part of the problem...do not let yourself be brainwashed by the union. Having had experience with unions before, I can say that this dispute was inevitable. Unions refuse to negotiate until its crunch time and then misinform there members in order to incite a strike...It is unfortunate but it is this union mentality which will eventually bankrupt our society.
well stated. unions only look out for union reps. the members and employees lose. the sticking point in this case is a pension fund for the employees. guess who manages that pension fund? the union reps. guess who reaps in millions of dollars in management fees for managing the pension fund? the union reps. in such a transient industry, the workers never realize their pension because they typically move on to another job before being able to cash in. however, these employees (the employer matches dollar for dollar) do contribute a portion of their weekly pay that collectively makes union reps extremely rich. the members are brainwashed into thinking the union is acting in their best interest to remain on strike, but in reality the employees are getting screwed the hardest. Intrawest will take a hit, but that isn't as bad as someone not being able to eat. get back to work people.
post #13 of 18
Well I am no big fan of unions either, but since i do not know any specifics regarding this strike, I will not comment either way. I am sure both sides have some valid points. However, I have a friend who just returned from a vacation up there and he said it is a bad sceen all around. Plenty of people paid good money, and had vacations that were terrible. Looks like to real losers in this fight were the paying customers.......
post #14 of 18
This just in, according to JB at the Tremblant-Insider, the strike is over. All applicable employees are being called in tonight to start up the snow guns. You had to feel that the union, was going to call it off after the holiday season was over.

The news is also being posted on the resorts website:

http://ww1.tremblant.ca/pdfs/communique_3jan2006en.pdf
post #15 of 18

Better source on strike end

A better source than the management site (which contains one serious factual error on the face of it) is the globe and mail news report on the settlement:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...tory/National/

Normal daily ski visits for Tremblant at that time of year are 12,000, this had dropped to 5,000 during the strike.

For those without the time to wade through the story, the mediated settlement included 17% in increases over five years and the creation of a pension fund, two gains over the previous company offer, but a concession was made on subcontracting issues by the union. (end info from news story--the rest is my comment).

Since the pension would be a registered pension plan under Canadian tax law there are some fairly significant restrictions on its management and investment. I don't know the details of this plan's management, but a usual practice is to have a board of directors elected/appointed by the union and/or management that oversees a professional fund manager. The performance of the fund and the management team should be compared to industry benchmarks and would be part of the annual report which should be distributed to all plan members. It's interesting to note that the two largest pools of investment capital in Canada currently are probably the Ontario Teachers' and Government Employees' pension funds. This may be a great deal different than the way things operate in the U.S. where a number of large defined pension plans are in serious difficulty, not because of union malfeasance, but due to the companies looting the plans during the bull market on the basis of some shakey valuations and then transferring the problem to your federal pension insurance fund through bankruptcy and default.

To answer a couple of other drive-by smearings of unions and unionists: there are ways of ensuring that employees in transient industries do receive pension benefits even if they leave the industry. Again, it is my understanding that this is in fact required for all registered pension plans in Canada (the tax people are pretty strict about attributing the untaxed money and either maintaining its status in a registered retirement plan, locked-in retirement plan, or refunding it to the former union member after deductions of the income tax owed). When my membership in our old actors', writers' and performers' union had lapsed for more than five years, I was able to cash out the ACTRA pension and either transfer it to a personal plan or take it as cash. If you aren't prepared to make a career in the hospitality and tourism industry worthwhile (through livable wages, pensions, and reasonable benefits), then don't complain about the quality of service you receive.

Finally, regarding union leaders: I've been the president of a union local (about 6000 members) and I've led them out on strike. My salary was identical with the highest paid member of the local (tied by policy set at a general meeting of our local). During the strike I donated every bit of take-home pay above our strike pay to charity so I did not benefit anymore than any other member of our local (in fact since I had to pay an additional levy from our provincial association which was not assessed against striking members, I may have actually fared worse by a few hundred dollars). I was president for four years and then returned to the classroom (term limits set by our local's constitution). Currently I sit on our provincial executive on a half-time basis and if my local were to go on strike I would lose my full pay and go on regular strike pay, just like any other member. Such arrangements are more common than you might imagine, but they go against the stereotype of the "union boss" that is quite useful to some folks.

I'm glad to hear the folks at Mt. Tremblant have a new collective agreement. It's just made it more likely that I would actually ski there sometime.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnjantzie
I'm glad to hear the folks at Mt. Tremblant have a new collective agreement. It's just made it more likely that I would actually ski there sometime.
Interesting comment. Would you ski at an area or resort that you deemed non-union friendly, even if you liked all other aspects of the area (terrain, accomodations, off-hill activities, etc.....)?
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnjantzie
I'm glad to hear the folks at Mt. Tremblant have a new collective agreement. It's just made it more likely that I would actually ski there sometime.
My thought would be: 'Would you choose a unionionized ski area over another (Non-union ) in the same area, given that both have similar facilities and terrain?.'
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by skieast
My thought would be: 'Would you choose a unionionized ski area over another (Non-union ) in the same area, given that both have similar facilities and terrain?.'
Probably. But how many resorts are unionized? To be honest, the bigger factors are probably snow and terrain. On the other hand, I wouldn't ski a resort that is in the midst of a labour dispute.
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