Pleasanton Weekly

News - February 5, 2010

Labor dispute at Castlewood could affect services

65 workers facing wage freezes, 400-700% increase in medical premiums

A labor dispute involving roughly 65 full-time and part-time employees at Castlewood Country Club could disrupt services at the prestigious organization's golf course and dining rooms if not resolved.

Representatives of Unite Here! Local 2850 said they are in negotiations with Castlewood management to avoid a lockout the club has threatened if union members don't accept "a final contract offer" the club has offered. The contract offer calls for a wage freeze this year and only nominal increases, if any, in the next two years of the three-year contract.

Most onerous, however, according to Sharon Cornu of the Alameda Labor, are hikes in health care premiums for unionized workers which, up to now, have been fully covered by Castlewood.

Under the management contract offer, workers would have to shift from a union-sponsored plan to one controlled by Castlewood. Monthly fees would jump from zero to $366 a month for single policies and to $739.for families. A medical insurance tracking formula computed by Kaiser shows that those rates would jump about 10 percent a year.

"With the average wage of union workers at Castlewood now $12.52 an hour, these new premiums would make it impossible for these people to pay the costs," said Pleasanton Mayor Jennifer Hosterman, who met with two Castlewood employees.

"The union said it acted in "good faith" by agreeing to a wage freeze," Hosterman said. "Its contract proposal also called for health care payments, amounting to $25 for singles, $100 for single plus one and $175 for families. It's my understanding that management has flatly rejected the union's offer and has ordered a lockout if Local 2850 doesn't sign Castlewood's final contract offer."

Hosterman said she understands that Castlewood has been losing members because of the recession and has fielded a deficit budget for several years. The more aggressive stance towards Local 2850 is an effort to change the financial course of the club.

"I had two union members who work at Castlewood come to see me," Hosterman said. "They reside in Pleasanton and have been living paycheck to paycheck as it is just trying to pay the rent and keep their kids in Pleasanton schools.

"They told me union workers at Castlewood couldn't afford the high health care premiums, that they rely on the health care policies they have for themselves and their families, and they are afraid they're going to lose their jobs."

Hosterman said she has asked Castlewood's general manager Jerry Olson to consider a "time out" before imposing the new contract and maintaining a status quo to give these employees tie to determine their next step.

At press time, neither Olson nor John Hughes, the club's senior pro, had returned calls from the Weekly. Dining room manager Tom Hunt said he couldn't respond to questions about the labor dispute and that only Olson could speak for the club.

"I'll do whatever I can to resolve this dispute," Hosterman said.

--Jeb Bing


Posted by living paycheck to paycheck too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2010 at 9:06 am

These union folks need a reality check. Lots of people contribute toward their healthcare premiums and have forgone pay increases just to keep their jobs. Unions always ask for more than they are reasonably entitled to making everything cost more for all of us.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Feb 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I value unions and their work to preserve the rights of working Americans.

end of story...jealous bugs

Posted by Meddle NOT, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm

If you're interested in this topic click on the 'message board' right above this. Funny that the 40 comments already received have been moved to the message board. This thread with the 1 comment is there also. You would have to scroll down thru 10+ other threads to the original thread of 40 comments. PW does try to move anything down and harder to find if comments differ with theirs.

Posted by Meddle NOT, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm

At the very bottom of the original 'labor dispute at Castlewood' thread on this PW site, Castlewood explains they cannot do the impossible, which currently runs benefits at $ 1 million, with declining membership. I'd say do some layoffs too. Maybe the 2 troublemakers could go first.
Notice the valued words of Cholo were INSERTED above mine. Fascinating !

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Feb 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I put in my valued words all by myself. When I created my post, there was only one post before mine. tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

are you a racist or what? hmmmmmmmmmm...pancho?

happy valentine's day meddle NOT...from pedro, chilito, panchito, maruca, gloria, margarita,
sylvia, donato the donut, ambulance torres and all the people in the UNION! VIVA UNIONS!


Posted by Say What?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Why waste time in a battle of wits with Cholo - he's unarmed.

Posted by Meddle NOT, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 10:20 am

Their contract expired last Sept 1,09 and the operation has continued under old contract. Castlewood has surveyed most other
restaurants in the area to be competitive.
This is a good lesston to all business. Don't let unions in to separate you from your employees !!! The "union bosses" are roadblocks to happy employees and cause "reductions" of employees....definitely when the business of the business is in DECLINE.

Posted by T, a resident of Castlewood
on Feb 10, 2010 at 7:37 pm

We, at Castlewood, want to keep all employees, as they are nice, and good people.
But the current state of the economy forces us, the Castlewood CC membership, to reduce costs and to get in line with the current state of the economy.
Times are tough. Everyone has to make concessions.

Posted by F, a resident of Rosepointe
on Feb 12, 2010 at 6:17 pm

No one earning $13.00/hr can afford to pay those monthly costs. Another reason we need universal healthcare.

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