By Tina Alvey
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS —
Some 1,200 union employees at The Greenbrier resort are voting today on the ratification of a new five-year employment contract.
While he declined to publicly reveal any details of the contract proposal now before the members, Peter Bostic, spokesperson for Workers United Local 863, said Thursday afternoon, “The bargaining committee has unanimously endorsed the proposed agreement.”
Bostic said he feels the ratification vote will turn on whether the rank-and-file workers trust the committee’s assessment.
“The committee thinks it’s a fair agreement,” he noted.
Jeff Kmiec, the resort’s president and managing director, also declined to address the specifics of the proposed contract prior to its ratification, but said, “We believe it represents something very positive for the employees and the resort. Both sides have something they can be proud of in this contract.”
He added, “We desire to have labor harmony at The Greenbrier.”
The current labor contract expires at midnight Jan. 31. It won approval by a margin of more than three-to-one in the spring of 2009, about 18 months after the previous agreement had expired.
Barely a week after the unions accepted the 2009 contract, Jim Justice purchased the resort out of bankruptcy.
Workers affiliated with eight unions — LIUNA Local 1182, Workers United Local 863, I.B.E.W. Local 466, Communication Workers Local 277, Carpenters Local 1911, I.A.T.S.E., Painters Local 970 and Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 625 — fall under this contract.
The vote is being conducted at the Union Hall at 65 W. Main St. in White Sulphur Springs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.
Bostic said he expects the ballots to be completely tallied around an hour after the polls close.