The biggest and arguably best ski resort in Quebec remained only partially open at press time with 1,500 unionized employees striking for more money, more vacation time, improvements to sick pay and a company pension plan.
The employees at Mont Tremblant walked off the job on midnight December 16. The employees, represented by the Confederation of National Trade Unions, have been without a contract since Oct. 31, and are looking for the same 15 per cent pay raise over three years as Montreal hotel workers.
Management has remained on the job since the job action, and as of press time had managed to get 29 of 94 runs and some of the lifts open.
Intrawest, the parent company of Whistler-Blackcomb, acquired Mont Tremblant in 1991 and has been developing the village as well as a year-round resort at Quebec’s biggest ski hill.
They also acquired a unionized workforce, and had their first major strike in 2001, also before Christmas. In that dispute, workers also asked for a 15 per cent increase over three years, and settled for three per cent a year over five years after a five-day strike.
As a result of that job action, Mont Tremblant employees make an average of $13.85 per hour – high for a Canadian ski resort, but $2 lower than the average Montreal hotel worker.
In an effort to get employees back on the job for Christmas, Tremblant’s busiest season, management again offered a five-year deal on Sunday afternoon. As of press time on Tuesday it had not been accepted by the union.