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Park City Mountain ski lift mechanics unionize - a first in U.S.

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Park City Lift Maintenance Professional Union
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Park City Mountain lift mechanics and electricians have formed the country's first union of their kind.

All eligible mechanics voted, and a large majority said yes to unionizing.

It's official - the Park City Lift Maintenance Professional Union has formed, and it's the first of its kind in the country.

The new union will contain both lift mechanics and electricians and will operate under the United Professional Ski Patrols of America, which is an arm of the Communications Workers of America.

About 80% of local workers signed a petition last month in support of unionizing. Tuesday, every one of the 41 eligible voters cast ballots to weigh in on the move. Voting wrapped up at 11:30 a.m., and after a quick tally, the union was formed by a 35-6 vote.

Officers will be chosen to head the union in the coming days.

Union member Liesl Jenkins, who was active in the effort to unionize, said Tuesday that members were celebrating for the moment, but would soon get down to the business of contract negotiations.

Park City Mountain Vice President and COO Deirdra Walsh said in a statement that the outcome was disappointing but that she appreciated people taking the time to vote and respected the decision.

Walsh said "If the results are certified by the NLRB, we will comply with all applicable labor and employment laws and bargain in good faith with the representative selected by our lift maintenance mechanics and electricians. Either way, we are looking forward to a great season.”

Michelle, who joined KPCW in 2021, arrived in Utah in 2018 by way of Massachusetts, where the skiing was icy and the mosquitoes formidable. A former daily newspaper reporter and editor (at the Visalia Times-Delta in CA) and columnist (at The Cohasset Mariner in MA), Michelle has been a writer and editor for decades. She holds a journalism degree from CSU Fresno and has worked as a journalist, freelance writer and web content creator, reporting extensively on education and youth along with general assignment and breaking news.
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