town hall 

Organizing for a union meeting The union debate has the potential to fracture Whistler as a community, according to Independent MLA David Mitchell. In order to cut through the rhetoric and anxiety tempering the debate, Mitchell, MLA for West-Vancouver-Garibaldi is advocating a town hall meeting for Whistler. The meeting would bring the debate into the open, educate those who have questions and put an end to the finger pointing currently sweeping the Whistler Valley as unions target hotels and Whistler and Blackcomb. "This issue is affecting everyone in Whistler, employees, employers, visitors and everyone in between," says Mitchell. "I think it's time to provide some middle ground where there is some objective information available to employers and employees alike." Mitchell says union organizers, union detractors and a specialist on labour relations from the academic field or the provincial Labour Relations Board could make up a panel that could present all sides of the debate and answer questions regarding the union issue. "The focus of the forum would be labour relations and resort communities and how should the two function," he says. "People have to be given a non-threatening forum to ask frank questions and voice their concerns." He says employers have a hard time communicating on union issues with their employees because they are handcuffed by B.C.'s labour practices code. Mitchell is looking for support from the local media to promote the forum, which he says should take place as soon as possible, in order to get honest debate going. "People are confused and people with that type of mindset are going to have a difficult time making informed decisions about the future of the resort," he says.

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