Management headed off a disastrous pre-Christmas strike at Intrawests Mont Tremblant ski resort by coming to a contract agreement with the unionized employees.
About 1,700 unionized workers at the resort, including restaurant, retail and mountain staff, had been without a contract since the end of October. According to CSN (Syndicat des travailleuses et travailleurs de la Station Mont-Tremblant) union local president Pierre Houle, there are also about 800 other casual employees who dont make enough money to live in the expensive resort community.
Union representatives kicked off negotiations on Dec. 15, telling management that they were prepared to strike unless the company agreed to a 5 per cent pay increase per year, over three years.
When CSN and resort management failed to come to an agreement, union members went on strike for 24 hours, starting midnight on Dec. 17, in an effort to speed up negotiations.
It worked. By Dec. 20, management and employees had signed an agreement-in-principle for the renewal of the collective agreement. The average wage was increased to $13 an hour, with a three per cent raise over each year of a five-year contract. A similar deal was worked out between management and employees at the Mont Ste-Anne resort near Quebec City, another CSN-organized resort. Mont Ste-Anne is owned by Charlie Lockes Resorts of the Canadian Rockies company.
The Mont Tremblant agreement also dealt with the issue of contracting out work.