Locked out union workers demonstrated again yesterday at Castlewood Country Club, the 53rd day since they were barred from returning to their jobs there.
Union leaders, under the direction of Nischit Hegde, head of Unite Here! Local 2850, the Oakland-based union that represents the 61 unionized hourly workers at Castlewood, led the demonstration in front of the club's lower golf course on Castlewood Drive. The group included children carrying colorful signs and banners and playing music on drum sets.
"There will be a piÃ±ata representing the lockout at Castlewood and interview opportunities from locked out workers and union representatives," Hegde told the Weekly in advance of the demonstration.
"Workers at Castlewood Country Club, locked out for 53 days from their jobs, are on the march, adding their chants, union songs and musical instruments to the normally quiet fairways and greens of the lush private golf course," she said.
"Coming off a vote of 70 percent in favor of continuing with the union, Unite Here! Local 2850, the workers are showing remarkable resistance to the club's refusal to allow them to go back to work.
Hegde's statement follows:
"Support for the workers is growing. Several local churches and congregations have provided food packages for the locked out workers. Many elected officials have come forth with expressions of support, and on April 6, the Pleasanton City Council voted 3-1 for a resolution calling for an end to the lockout.
"The workers have been locked out of their jobs because they have refused to agree in collective bargaining to paying 40 percent of their take-home wages for family medical insurance. The union bargaining team had proposed concessions in February that would have made continuing the insurance cost-neutral to the club. Club management has not responded to the union proposal.
"The Castlewood Country Club workers have been members of Unite Here! Local 2850 for over 30 years. The Local represents over 2,500 hospitality workers throughout the East Bay, including 61 Castlewood Country Club workers."
Castlewood Country Club management did not appear before the City Council as requested to speak on the labor issue.