http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2012/02/24/marchers-will-occupy-pleasanton


Pleasanton Weekly

News - February 24, 2012

Marchers will 'Occupy' Pleasanton

Group plans to protest Castlewood lockout

by Glenn Wohltmann

Occupy Oakland is headed to Pleasanton to mark the second anniversary of the lockout of workers from Castlewood Country Club. Marchers will start at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow at the corner of Main Street and Bernal Avenue and walk to the club on Castlewood Drive.

The Occupy Oakland website says protesters "are planning on bringing tents and occupying an unclaimed area adjacent to the country club in protest of the inhumane treatment of the workers who have been locked out in a clear attempt to break their union."

The group is also planning to stage a "mock counter protest" by the country club they label as the 1%.

The group intends to make this a peaceful protest; its website notes that "the goal is to end the lockout and get the workers back to work, so all actions should keep strategy, discipline, and accountability in mind when considering tactics."

A protest in June led to the arrest of about 20 people for blocking Castlewood Drive in what organizers described as an act of civil disobedience. That protest drew close to 100 demonstrators and nearly 50 police officers from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office and Pleasanton.

About 60 employees of the club -- bartenders, kitchen helpers, waiters and other hourly full-time and part-time employees -- were locked out of the country club on Feb. 25, 2010, in a dispute over health care costs.

The sides on the lockout remain in the same stalemate they've been in for months. Originally, management offered a contract that would have to shift workers from a union-sponsored health plan to one controlled by Castlewood. Monthly fees would jump from zero to $366.93 a month for single policies and to $739.08 for families.

After months of talks, management offered to bring the workers back -- as long as the club managers could fire or lay people off without taking seniority into consideration.

A National Labor Relations Board hearing that could potentially resolve the case began in January and is expected to continue into March.

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