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As the clock ticks down on what may be Whistler's first strike — complete with picket lines — Whistler Mayor Ted Nebbeling says the resort is being held hostage by unions. At press time, the outcome of a final contract offer from Mountainside and Blackcomb Lodge management to members of the Canadian Auto Workers Union had not been released, but Nebbeling says the union influence is forever going to change the way Whistler works. "My biggest fear is that if unions get enough power to always threaten strikes we are going to be held hostage and blackmailed by unions," Nebbeling says. "That is not the way Whistler operates." If the CAW serves strike notice and pickets go up the Whistler Nuisance Bylaw will be "enforced to its full extent" to make sure any picket line activity is not intimidating to Whistler's visitors. Nebbeling says it looks like the Canadian Auto Workers Union has gained enough of a foothold in Whistler to exert a power play and force a strike on a local hotel during the busy winter season. "If need be, I will be the first one to cross that picket line and pick up a vacuum cleaner. If anyone needs me I'll be mopping the floor, he says. "This is an attack on the resort and it is not an attack that we can take sitting down."

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